What is the difference between abiotic and biotic factors?
The ecosystem is shaped by abiotic and biotic factors. The two factors are indispensable and they tend to perform different duties in the ecosystem.
Understanding the meaning and how these factors work in the ecosystem is quite vital. Meanwhile, the lesson provides a core difference between abiotic and biotic factors.
What Are the Abiotic Factors?
Abiotic factors are those non-living things that are present in the environment. These factors are not able to breathe, move, and perform metabolic activities.
These factors play a vital role in the evolution cycle and also sustaining the ecosystem. They can directly or indirectly influence the growth of biotic factors.
Some of the common examples of abiotic factors are pH, temperature, soil, climate, water, humidity, gases, light, minerals, and wind among many others.
What Are Biotic Factors?
Biotic factors refer to those living organisms present in the ecosystem. These living organisms are able to respond to stimuli, grow, develop, and they need the energy to work.
These factors rely on abiotic factors for their growth and development either directly or indirectly. Therefore, biotic factors intend to shape up the living form of the ecosystem.
Biotic factors comprise of producer, consumer and decomposers. Producers are also known as autotrophs and they are responsible for making their own food through photosynthesis.
Producers are also known as heterotrophs and they rely either directly or indirectly on producers for food. Decomposers also are known as detrivores are organisms that feed of decay or dead matter as food.
Comparison Chart: Abiotic Vs Biotic Factors
|Basic Terms||Abiotic Factors||Biotic Factors|
|Meaning||These are factors that refer to non-living things in the ecosystem||These are factors that refer to a living organism in the ecosystem|
|Role||Create boundaries for the living organism in an ecosystem||Responsible for maintaining and regulating ecosystem|
|Examples||Soil, wind, sunlight, temperature, humidity, water etc||Microbes, animals, plants etc|
|Affect||Biosphere, an individual of a particular species, ecosystem, community, and population.||Population, biome, biosphere, ecosystem, and individual of a particular species.|
|Scope||Present in every part of the world||Presence in every part of the hemisphere|
|Dependency||Do not depend on biotic factors||Depend too much on abiotic factors|
|Adaptations||Do not adapt to changes in the environment||Tend to adapt to changes in the environment|
|Origin||lithosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere||Biosphere|
|Main categories||Wind, water, temperatures, atmosphere, and chemical elements||Producers, consumers, decomposers.|
Core Differences Between Abiotic and Biotic Factors
- Abiotic factors refer to non-living components while biotic factors refer to the living components in the ecosystem.
- Examples of abiotic factors are wind, water, atmosphere, and temperature while biotic factors are birds, snakes, plants, and fungi.
- Biotic facts tend to adapt to changes in the environment whereas abiotic factors do not adapt to changes in the environment.
- Biotic factors originated from the biosphere whereas abiotic factors from the lithosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere.
- Biotic factors rely more on abiotic factors for growth and survival while abiotic factors do not depend on biotic factors.
- The measure of abiotic factors is objective whereas measure of biotic factors is subjective
- The basic categories of abiotic factors are climatic, edaphic and social whereas the basic categories of biotic factors are producer, consumer, and decomposers
- Abiotic factors are present all parts of the world while biotic factors are present all part of the hemisphere
Similarities between Abiotic and Biotic Factors
- Both depend on each other for survival and sustenance
- Both occur in the ecosystem
- Both tend to relate to each other
You May Also Like:
- Difference between Habitat and Niche
- Difference between Predation and Parasitism
- Difference between Food Chain and Food Web
- Difference between Ecosystem and Community
- Difference between Autotrophs and Heterotrophs
- Difference between Symbiotic and Mutualistic Organisms
Summary of Abiotic and Biotic Factors
Abiotic and biotic factors are essential components of an ecosystem. These two factors are much dependent on each other in several ways.
However, the slight difference between the abiotic and biotic factors listed above are worth reading for informational purposes.
More Sources and References
- Biotic Component. Wikipedia
- Abiotic Component. Wikipedia
- Introduction to Ecology Review. Khan Academy