Posted by: Jeremy Fox | June 16, 2011

Dr. Seuss: community ecologist

Probably a lot of you already know about this (I first saw it quoted in an old paper of Simon Levin’s), but for those of you who don’t, the following passage is from Dr. SeussOn Beyond Zebra:

And NUH is the letter I use to spell Nutches
Who live in small caves, known as Niches, for hutches.
These Nutches have troubles, the biggest of which is
The fact there are many more Nutches than Niches.
Each Nutch in a Nich knows that some other Nutch
Would like to move into his Nich very much.
So each Nutch in a Nich has to watch that small Nich
Or Nutches who haven’t got Niches will snitch.

Dr. Seuss: community ecologist.

Say what you like about niche theory, but it generates better verse than neutral theory.


  1. Who live in small caves, known as Niches, for hutches

    Ah, evidently not the Grinnellean niche, then.

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