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Biotic Factors Vs Abiotic Factors: Definition, Differences, Examples

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Definition of Biotic Factors

The live organism that shapes an environment is referred to as the biotic factor or biotic component.

  • Plants, animals, bacteria, algae, and all other life elements in an environment are considered biotic factors.
  • An ecosystem is a complex system of living and non-living organisms, with biotic elements forming the life part of the system.
  • All producers, consumers, and decomposers involved in the transformation and transmission of energy through the food cycle are considered biotic components.
  • Diseases and epidemics are also caused by these biotic causes.
  • Producers are organisms that produce their own food through methods such as photosynthesis.
  • Most producers convert solar energy to chemical energy through photosynthesis, although autotrophs use additional mechanisms such as phototrophy and chemotrophy.
  • Chlorophyll is a photosynthetic pigment found in all green plants that aids in photosynthesis. Some bacteria, algae, and phytoplankton use other pigments for photosynthesis, such as bacterial rhodopsin and carotenoids.
  • Some food producers use the chemosynthesis process, which gets its energy from chemical reactions rather than sunlight.
  • Consumers are groupings of creatures that rely on producers for energy and food, either directly or indirectly.
  • Consumers are divided into two trophic levels: main and secondary. Herbivores that are directly dependent on autotrophs or producers are the primary consumers. Primary consumers feed secondary consumers, who in turn feed primary consumers.
  • The energy required for the conversion of inorganic materials into organic molecules is captured by biotic components in the ecosystem.
  • The nature of the ecosystem and ecological niches is determined by biotic and abiotic variables.

Definition of Abiotic Factors

The non-living physical and chemical makeup of nature makes up the abiotic factors or abiotic components of an ecosystem.

  • Abiotic elements include, among other things, sunshine, water supply, air, soil, rocks, tides, temperature, rain, and humidity.
  • These factors have an impact on living species’ development, survival, and reproduction, as well as their ecosystem function.
  • All of the environment’s resources are either used by various living beings or made unavailable to organisms after they have been consumed by others.
  • Hydrolysis and other physical processes are used to naturally degrade various components such as chemicals and minerals.
  • All non-living organisms, such as atmospheric conditions and water supplies, make up abiotic variables.
  • The abiotic component of an ecosystem varies depending on the ecosystem type. In the desert environment, sand is an essential abiotic ingredient, whereas rainfall is an abiotic component in the tropical forest ecosystem.
  • Abiotic components of the marine ecosystem include pressure and sound waves, as well as other elements such as water clarity, aerial exposure, and water tides.
  • Different ecosystems’ biotic factors adapt to the abiotic characteristics of that ecosystem. Archaea living in harsh habitats that rely on biotic elements for survival and growth are an example of this.
  • Abiotic influences have an impact on ecosystem living organisms. Only creatures capable of withstanding these abiotic factors will live in such habitats, depending on their aptitude.
  • These causes may eventually change the ecology of certain ecosystems. A tropical habitat may be transformed into a desert ecosystem due to a lack of rainfall.

Biotic Factors Vs Abiotic Factors: Definition, Differences, Examples

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Difference Between Biotic And Abiotic Factors

 (Biotic Factors vs Abiotic Factors)

Basis for Comparison Biotic factors Abiotic factors

The live organism that shapes an environment is referred to as the biotic factor or biotic component.

The non-living physical and chemical makeup of nature is referred to as abiotic factors or abiotic components of an ecosystem.

For survival and growth, biotic factors rely on abiotic factors.

Abiotic factors do not require the presence of biotic factors to exist.


The biotic component’s quantification is subjective.

The abiotic component is measured objectively.
Relationship Living species may be related to other organisms in an environment either directly or indirectly.

The number and type of living organisms that survive in an environment are determined by abiotic forces.


Biotic factors have the ability to adapt to changes in their surroundings.

Abiotic elements are incapable of adapting to changing environmental conditions.

Limiting factors

Changes in one biotic component are rarely accompanied by changes in other biotic factors.

Changes in any abiotic factor could have a big impact on the biotic factors.

Components Plants, animals, bacteria, and algae are examples of biotic components that operate as producers, consumers, or decomposers.

Soil topography, climate, and natural ecosystem disturbances are examples of abiotic variables.


Forests and forest products, as well as marine resources such as fish, are examples of biotic resources.

Land, water, soil, and coal are examples of abiotic resources.


Symbiosis, parasitism, and predator-prey associations are all examples of biotic associations.

Abiotic factors do not generate any such relationships.


Humans, insects, wild animals, birds, microbes, and other biotic elements are examples.

Abiotic influences include soil, rainfall, humidity, temperature, pH, climate, and so on.

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Biotic Factors Examples

(a) Humans

  • Humans are one of the most significant biotic variables influencing the state of the environment and the survival of other living things.
  • Humans have profoundly altered the global ecology, as well as other natural climatic changes, as a result of numerous technological breakthroughs.
  • The impact of human activities on the carbon cycle is one of the most visible examples of this. A considerable amount of carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide is emitted as a result of growing industries and automobiles, which has a direct impact on global climatic conditions and air quality.
  • Deforestation and urbanisation, for example, have resulted in significant changes in the amount and quality of soil, land, and water.
  • As a result of these shifts, fast climatic change occurs, resulting in the mass extinction of many organisms.
  • As a result, humans are the most powerful biotic elements in any ecosystem.

(b) Cyanobacteria

  • Cyanobacteria are thought to be the first living species on the planet.
  • These single-celled autotrophic bacteria were critical in the development and evolution of the global ecosystem to its current state.
  • These creatures were in charge of storing solar energy and converting inorganic carbon compounds into organic carbon compounds.
  • There was no oxygen on Earth prior to the discovery of cyanobacteria. As a result, they relied on anaerobic respiration as a means of food production.
  • Cyanobacteria are also responsible for converting carbon dioxide into oxygen. A great number of additional creatures arose as a result of the oxygen release.
  • Cyanobacteria nearly became extinct as new and more advanced creatures arose on the planet. They did, however, adapt to their new surroundings by generating blooms in various parts of the globe.

Abiotic Factors Examples

(a) Temperature

  • Temperature is a key abiotic element that influences the rate of metabolic reactions and, as a result, the survival of diverse biotic organisms.
  • As the temperature rises, the rate of enzyme-catalyzed processes increases. This, however, only works up to a point.
  • These enzymes may get denatured as the temperature continues to rise. Essential enzymes’ denaturation halts a variety of chemical events, affecting the lives of all living things.
  • Similarly, changes in temperature affect the types of creatures that survive in an environment.
  • In such habitats, only extremophiles and creatures capable of withstanding such temperatures can survive.
  • In cold temperatures, such as those found in the highlands and at higher altitudes, a similar process happens.

 (b) Availability of light

  • Another major abiotic factor that influences the pace of photosynthesis in producers as well as animal breeding cycles is the availability of sunshine.
  • Other environmental elements such as rainfall, water cycles, and other processes, in turn, influence light availability.
  • Animals’ food production is affected when they are deprived of oxygen for long periods of time. This has an impact on the entire ecosystem.

(c) Pollutants and toxins

  • Toxins and pollutants of all kinds are harmful to the ecosystem’s biological components.
  • The tissues and metabolic processes of numerous living species are affected by these poisons. As a result, a variety of disorders may develop.
  • Meanwhile, they have an impact on the climate, which in turn has an impact on abiotic elements such as rainfall and humidity.



Biotic Factors Vs Abiotic Factors Citations 



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