What Are Biotic Factors in a Forest Ecosystem?

Biotic factors in a forest ecosystem are living things that are necessary to ensure that life is sustained within the forest. The word biotic is translated to mean "things that have life" or "living things."

Biotic factors in a forest ecosystem are made up of three categories: producers, consumers and decomposers. Producers are basically plants, which are the only organisms on Earth able to produce their own food. Plants create their food through a process called photosynthesis with the aid of sunlight. Once they have produced their food, it is turned into various nutrients that are able to sustain life.

Consumers are mainly animals that either feed on other animals or plants. Once plants have developed, animals consume them in order to grow and reproduce. Animals help keep the soil fertile since their wastes act like manure or their activities facilitate better development of plants within the forest environment. Examples of consumers include wolves, whales, sharks, bears, bobcats, lions and elephants.

Decomposers are organisms, such as bacteria, earthworms, cockroaches and crabs, which facilitate general break down of waste substances. Without these organisms, the environment would be rendered uninhabitable since waste would cause pollution and potential disease outbreak within the forest.