Thermodynamic analysis of an ecologically restored plant community at a
manganese tailing site：Growth potential and ecological niche
The data used in the analysis were obtained from an ecologically
restored plant community. The basic idea presented in this study is that
the conventionally defined chemical potential μi can be used as a growth
potential index for a species for evaluating the biotic effect on its
realized niche. An ecological niche defines a suitable environment for a
species to live while μi defines the adaptability of a species to a
given environment. The deviation from the fundamental niche of a plant
species due to changes in its living environment will thus be reflected
by the changes in its μi value. The μi factor is a function of μi0 (the
standard chemical potential) and N (the species number). Similar to the
fundamental niche, μi0 is uniquely determined by abiotic factors.
Increasing N will reduce μi and thus, similar to the realized niche, μi
takes into account the biotic effect.