Biotic Factors: Definition, Types, & Examples

Biotic Factors Definition

Ecosystem components include both biotic and abiotic elements. Abiotic factors include non-living substances such as radiation, sunshine, heat, water, soil, and humidity. These are the biotic factors that ultimately influence physical and chemical agents. The term “biotic factor” or “biotic components” refers to an ecosystem’s biological organisms. It is also to blame for the various illnesses and epidemics. Abiotic and biotic variables interact with one another. It influences the availability of ecological niches and the structure of the ecosystem.

What are Biotic Factors?

Living organisms such as bacteria, plants, and animals are considered to be biotic factors. It is split into three primary categories:

  • Producers
  • Consumers
  • Decomposers

1. Producers

  • Autotrophs are also known as producers.
  • They synthesize their own food using energy and inorganic elements.
  • It is regarded as the original living form. It’s because there weren’t any consumers to feed on during the early stages of origin.
  • There are primarily two groups of producers. Those are
  • Photoautotrophs
  • Chemoautotrophs

A. Photoautotrophs

  • They obtain their carbon from carbon dioxide and their energy from sunshine.
  • To capture the photon from the sun, they primarily need the pigment chlorophyll.
  • Similar to this, certain bacteria, algae, and phytoplankton contain colors like rhodopsin and carotenoids. They serve as photosynthesis agents.
  • Later, they generate compounds like sugar, protein, lipids, and other essentials.
  • Examples include green germs, green plants, and green algae.
Biotic Factors vs ABiotic Factors
Image Credit: VectorMine

B. Chemoautotrophs

  • They obtain their energy from chemical substances, including hydrogen, iron, and sulfur.
  • They often inhabit areas where vegetation cannot flourish.
  • They can be discovered in acidic hot springs or at the ocean’s bottom.
  • They take part in nitrogen-fixing as well.
  • Methanogens are an example of chemoautotrophs. They are microorganisms that may produce methane gas.

2. Consumers

  • They go by the name heterotrophs as well.
  • Like the producers, they don’t cook all of their own meals. It contains every heterotroph.
  • Herbivores are animals that eat only plants, such as cows, buffalo, and goats. They serve as the main consumers.
  • Carnivores: Animals that consume human flesh, such as lions and tigers. For nourishment, they rely on herbivores. They are second-line shoppers.
  • Animals that consume plants and other animals, such as dogs and cats, are known as omnivores.

3. Decomposers

  • Detritivores are alternate names for decomposers.
  • They draw their energy from producers and consumers who make and consume organic substances.
  • Decomposers are essential in an ecosystem because they help break down complicated materials into simpler ones.
  • The other species can exploit such a basic form once more. It consists of several fungi, worms, flies, and soil bacteria.
  • Animals that pass away are degraded by decomposers. Decomposers are to blame for the rotting of even plants and fruits.
  • Decomposers are crucial in the metabolism of waste materials.
  • Mushroom as an example of a decomposer

Example: Composting

  • Various waste products are obtained from the kitchen in our daily lives.
  • The leftover produce, fruits, and other items.
  • They are gathered individually and piled together.
  • After some time, it produces high-quality organic fertilizer that may be used in the field.

You may also like to read: Vacuoles

Examples of Biotic factors

1. Human

Humans are essential to both the preservation and the exploitation of nature. Humans have both a good and a bad side. The good news is that people may use the environment while still protecting other creatures’ existences. Conservation can undergo significant modifications. However, the quality of the air is declining as a result of increased industry and urbanization, as well as excessive carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide gas emissions.

2. Cyanobacteria

They are the single-celled autotrophic creatures that were formerly thought to be the planet’s earliest living things. They convert organic chemicals into inorganic ones using solar light. They have the ability to create oxygen using carbon dioxide.

Factors Affecting Biotic Factors

The ecology is affected by a variety of variables. They are each other’s lifeblood, whether directly or indirectly.

1. Availability of Food

It is regarded as the limiting element. Animals will starve to death if there is a food shortage. For instance, when herbivores die, carnivores will starve to death and thus perish. The environment as a whole will be affected.

2. Presence of a Predator

To keep an ecosystem in balance, prey and predator populations must coexist in harmony. When there are more predators than prey, the prey will eventually vanish in this situation. If there are more cattle than grassland in a grassland, or if there are fewer deer than there are tigers, then the grassland and the deer will eventually perish.

3. Presence of Parasites

Parasites are creatures that depend on or reside inside other living things like plants and animals to survive. We may use ectoparasites like lice as an example, which are frequently found in children’s messy hair. Hookworms are endoparasites that reside in the gut like roundworms.

The host provides nutrients to the parasites. For instance, anemia is developed due to the loss of blood that is utilized by hookworms. In general, when parasites infect the host and feed on the host’s nutrients.

4. Competition Between the Species

Animals must compete with one another in order to survive and exist, according to the laws of nature. Only species that can find food will be able to persist; these species will naturally adapt, while all other species will eventually go extinct.

Returning to the evolution hypotheses, it was hypothesized that access to food was the reason why short-necked giraffes became extinct and only long-necked giraffes persisted.

Similar to this, there is typical flora in our bodies as well. Not all germs pose a threat. Our bodies also contain certain beneficial bacteria that stop diseases from colonizing. These dangerous creatures won’t enter our bodies.

Whether it is between bacteria or other creatures, there is always rivalry amongst the species.

They cannot function independently of any biotic factors. They are dependent on one another, whether directly or indirectly. The abiotic factor has an impact on or influences all biotic variables. As a result, the environment is shaped by their cooperation.

References and Sources

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