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Welcome to the Transylvania Ecology blog! This semester we have been examining the Big Questions in ecology. How will organisms respond to climate change? Why are invasive species so successful? Why are the tropics so diverse? In order to understand why the tropics are diverse, we are trying to get a better grasp on what a niche is and if it is still a useful concept in biology. Each student read a recent paper about the niche. Here they blog a summary of how that paper defines the niche, how it differs from the classic Hutchisonian niche, and how useful the student thinks the concept of the niche is in ecology. Come read the blogs and see what the utility of the niche is.