Q:

What are biotic and abiotic factors?

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Quick Answer

Biotic factors are living organisms in an ecosystem, such as animals and plants. Abiotic factors are non-living physical and chemical elements in an ecosystem, and they can have a major influence on living organisms. Examples of abiotic factors are sunlight, oxygen, water, minerals and soil.

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Full Answer

Abiotic factors are obtained from the atmosphere, hydrosphere and lithosphere. Water is a crucial abiotic factor, and all living organisms use water. Just like water, oxygen is also an important abiotic factor for living organisms. Human beings and animals cannot survive without oxygen.

Sunlight is the primary source of energy on earth. Sunlight is necessary for the process of photosynthesis to take place. The process of photosynthesis produces oxygen for animals, sugar-food for plants, and the plants later become food for animals. Therefore, without the sun, animals and plants cannot live.

Biotic factors, which are mainly obtained from the biosphere, are capable of reproduction. Biotic factors interact with one another through three main ways. First, there are producers, such as trees and grass. Second, there are consumers. These organisms feast on the producers or other animals. Third, there are decomposers, which are responsible for breaking down dead material and returning nutrients to the soil. The nutrients are then reused by producers to create food.

Therefore, biotic factors depend on abiotic factors for existence, but abiotic factors can exist without biotic factors.

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