Living and nonliving things interact with each other by forming an ecosystem, where living things can obtain nutrients and energy from nonliving things through chemical processes. The nonliving things in an environment are known as abiotic factors, while living things are known as biotic factors.
Examples of abiotic factors in an ecosystem include sunlight, soil, water and temperature. Examples of biotic factors include plants, microbes, birds and mammals. These factors interact with each other to provide biotic factors with the necessary components they need to live. One example is through an energy cycle. Sunlight passes heat energy to plants to make them grow. The plants are eaten by animals and transformed into energy. When the animals die, they decompose, providing nutrients to bacteria.