What are biotic and abiotic factors?


biotic and abiotic factors
biotic and abiotic factors

What are biotic and abiotic factors?

Biotic and abiotic factors they are ecological components or environmental factors that form an ecosystem and are important to its function.

Biological factors can be defined as the living elements of an ecosystem. Plants, animals (including humans), fungi, bacteria, viruses and protozoa are biological factors.

What are biotic and abiotic factors?

>>> The difference between abiotic and biotic factors

Abiotic factors are the non-living elements of the ecosystem. The bodies and courses of water, air, soil and sunlight are abiotic factors.

These factors are decisive in the development of ecosystems and affect them at different levels. Both biotic and abiotic factors can limit elements in nature, which limits the overgrowth of populations.

For example, the amount of water in the habitat (abiotic factors) determines the number of species that can live in it.On the other hand, predation (biological factors) limits the number of prey. If the number of prey is low, the number of predators will also decrease.

Abiotic factors

Biological factors

Biological factors are living elements of an ecosystem, characterized by their ability to reproduce, grow, reproduce, and die. These are plants, animals, fungi, protozoa, bacteria and viruses.

These organisms can be classified into two large groups, depending on the shape of their cells:

– Eukaryotes : If genetic information is contained in the nucleus of a cell. Such is the case with plants, animals, fungi and protozoa.

– Prokaryotes : Without a suitable cell nucleus, but genetic information is dispersed in the cytoplasm. To this group, belongs to bacteria.

In the same way, living organisms can be classified according to the number of cells that make up them:

– Unicellular, consisting of a single cell . It’s about microscopic creatures. Bacteria and protozoa are part of this group. Some fungi and algae can also be unicellular.

Multicellular , consisting of two or more cells . Plants, animals, and most fungi are multicellular.

>>> What is abiotic factor? Characteristics and importance

Abiotic factors

Abiotic factors are elements of an ecosystem that are not living. The main abiotic factors are water, soil, oxygen, carbon, temperature and sunlight.


Water is one of the most abundant elements on Earth and can occur in liquid, solid, and gaseous states.

In its liquid state, water covers 75% of the Earth. This classification belongs to rivers, lakes, seas, oceans and groundwater.

In the solid state, glaciers and mountains with permanent snow are found.

In the liquid state, water vapor is found. Water in this state is less abundant than in any other state. However, it is important to regulate the temperature.


Soil is one of the earth’s crust, which includes inorganic (rock debris, water and air) and organic (plant and animal remains that provide nutrients to the soil).


Oxygen makes up 21% of planet Earth’s atmosphere. In addition, oxygen is present in the water.

Plus, oxygen combines with other elements to form more complex molecules (like carbon dioxide, which has two oxygen atoms).

This element is essential for many organisms to perform aerobic respiration.


Living organisms can survive at temperatures that do not drop many degrees below 0° and temperatures not higher than 50 or 55°C. This factor facilitates the life of ecosystems.

For example, not all animals can adapt to life in the Arctic, because of the very low temperatures.


Light is an essential element for the proper development of ecosystems. Plants use sunlight for photosynthesis.

In addition, the alternation between light and dark times determines the hours of animal activity.

Biochemical cycle

Some abiotic elements complete cycles that are important for the development of ecosystems, for example water, oxygen and carbon.

Water cycle

The water cycle is one of the best known biochemical cycles. It happens as follows:

– Surface water (from land, rivers, seas and lakes) and from transpiration by animals and plants evaporates and enters the atmosphere.

In the atmosphere, water condenses into tiny droplets, forming clouds. When these clouds accumulate enough condensate, the water droplets fall to the ground as liquid (rain), solid (hail) or semi-solid (snow).

– Thus, the cycle starts again.

Oxygen cycle

Oxygen is one of the most important abiotic factors in ecosystems. Its cycle develops as follows:

– Plants photosynthesize and release oxygen to the environment (both in water and in the air)

– This oxygen is captured by aerobics (oxidation of substances to produce energy).

These organisms breathe oxygen and release carbon dioxide.

– Carbon dioxide is captured by plants and thus starts the cycle again.

Carbon cycle

Carbon is an element present in all organisms. The cycle of this element involves more actions.

At first, plants consumed carbon dioxide to produce photosynthesis.

– Herbivores consume plants and in this way they also consume carbon.

– Carnivores that consume herbivores have integrated carbon into their systems.

When animals die, their bodies are consumed by decomposers, such as fungi. In this way, the decomposer absorbs carbon.

– The carbon of certain animals remains in the soil and is absorbed by plants through the roots.

– Both animals, plants and decomposers release carbon dioxide into nature.

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