The role of negative interactions in shaping ecological communities and the realized niches of species has been a focus of considerable research for at least decades. Traditionally, the discrepancy between the size of the fundamental and realized niches of a species was attrib-uted to the effect of negative interactions, such that the realized niche is always smaller than the fundamental niche. However, in the last decade, a series of studies have highlighted the important role that positive inter-actions played in shaping the structure of communities. This renewed interest in positive interactions has led to a reconsideration of the niche concept. Specifically, some investigators have suggested that positive interact-ions can lead the realized niche of a species to be larger than its fundamental niche. Here, we show that, although positive interactions can counteract the effects of negative interactions and possibly modify the realized niche of a species, the realized niche of a species can never be larger than the fundamental niche.
Rodriguez-Cabal, M. A., Barrios-Garcia, M. N., & Nunez, M. A. (2012). Positive interactions in ecology: filling the fundamental niche. Ideas in Ecology and Evolution. https://doi.org/10.4033/iee.2012.5.9.c