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Difference between biotic and abiotic

Within any ecosystem, a series of factors that interact to maintain balance in that ecosystem and at the global level, that is, between ecosystems, are combined. Among these, we differentiate biotic factors such as those organisms that are alive, from abiotic factors or non-living elements of the ecosystem.

In this AgroCorrn article, we explain the difference between biotic and abiotic , their definitions and how they interact with each other.

Definition of biotic, examples and factors

The biotic factors of an ecosystem are all those beings that are part of it and that have life. To be considered living organisms, they must be made up of at least one cell and fulfill vital functions, like any living organism: nutrition (including respiration), interaction (including all relationship processes) and reproduction. In this way, any biotic factor has the ability to feed, interact with its environment and have offspring that ensure the continuity of the species.

Thus, we classify biotic factors into producing, consuming and decomposing organisms. Within them, we divide them into the five biological kingdoms :

  • The Animalia kingdom , made up of all animals.
  • The kingdom Plantae , formed by all plant organisms.
  • The Fungi kingdom , which is made up of fungi.
  • The Monera kingdom , which is made up of microorganisms such as bacteria or viruses.
  • The Protista kingdom , which is formed by those eukaryotic cells, but which are not classified within the fungi, animalia or plantae kingdoms.

In this other post we talk about Biotic Factors: what they are, characteristics, classification and examples .

Definition of abiotic, examples and factors

They are those factors that are not living beings , do not have a life of their own or are inert. They do not perform the vital functions of any living organism, however they are very important, since they form the physical space in which biotic factors or living organisms live, that is, biotic factors could not exist without these inert or lifeless factors. .

These factors can be divided into natural and artificial factors . Natural ones are those that are part of our planet in a natural way, such as air, light, soil, water or rocks, and artificial factors are those that are the product of human activity, such as marble or a bottle. made of plastic . In addition, some biotic factors can become abiotic factors, such as the example of a living organism that dies and becomes matter that enriches the soil.

Other abiotic factors more complex than the previous ones are climate, temperature, humidity, pH or the presence of different seasons and they are more complex, since they depend on the interaction of multiple other factors. These factors also influence the ecosystem and the beings that live in it.

In this other article you will learn more about abiotic factors: what they are, characteristics and examples .

Abiotic and biotic factors are influencing factors

Abiotic factors influence all living factors in an ecosystem , being able to become limiting factors for the growth of a species, thus limiting (directly or indirectly) its survival and reproduction. Therefore, they are determining factors in terms of the type and number of organisms capable of inhabiting that particular ecosystem. Abiotic factors influence the body itself, other living beings, their relationships and the waste they generate.

A simple example of the interaction between biotic and abiotic factors is that of plants with factors such as water, sunlight, or available carbon dioxide. Plants use water to survive and sunlight and carbon dioxide to create their own food through photosynthesis.

Another example, some ecosystem suffers winters with very low temperatures and a lot of snow. Some animals, such as the Arctic fox, adapt to these abiotic factors thanks to the development of a thick layer of white fur during colder times.

Biotic factors are also influencing factors . For example, decomposing organisms such as bacteria or fungi decompose remains of inert organisms. This is a mechanism that manages to return the components of these organisms to the earth, which in turn later returns to living beings, thus closing the cycle.

In summary, all the ecosystems of the planet are formed by both biotic and abiotic factors and these are not static factors, but rather interact with each other to give rise to the conditions of that ecosystem. For example, in the image below we can see abiotic factors such as sea water, beach sand and the air itself, which are what allow biotic factors such as palm trees and seagulls in the image to live in an environment suitable for them.

This short video will help you to know in a simple way what are biotic and abiotic factors and their difference.

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Hello, I am a blogger specialized in environmental, health and scientific dissemination issues in general. The best way to define myself as a blogger is by reading my texts, so I encourage you to do so. Above all, if you are interested in staying up to date and reflecting on these issues, both on a practical and informative level.

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