Biotic Vs Abiotic Factors- Definition, 10 Differences, Examples

Biotic Vs Abiotic Factors Overview

Biotic Factors Definition

  • The living object that creates an ecosystem is known as the “biotic element” or “biotic component.”
  • Biotic elements encompass all living things found in an ecosystem, including bacteria, algae, plants, and animals.
  • An ecosystem is a complex system of both living and non-living elements. An ecosystem is made up of biotic factors, which are the life components of the system.
  • All producers, consumers, and decomposers involved in the transformation and transportation of energy through the food cycle are referred to as biotic factors.
  • Diseases and epidemics are also brought on by these biotic causes.
  • Producers are the types of creatures that use mechanisms like photosynthesis to create their own food.
  • The majority of producers convert solar energy into chemical energy by photosynthesis, although certain autotrophs also use phototrophy and chemotrophy as alternative mechanisms.
  • Chlorophyll serves as the photosynthetic pigment for photosynthesis in all living things that are green. Some bacteria, algae, and phytoplankton additionally include additional pigments such as bacterial rhodopsin and carotenoids for photosynthesis.
  • Some farmers create food using a method called chemosynthesis, which relies on chemical processes rather than sunlight for energy.
  • Groups of creatures known as consumers rely on producers for food and energy, either directly or indirectly.
  • Because they are main and secondary consumers, people live at different trophic levels. Herbivores are the main consumers and are reliant on producers or autotrophs. In turn, main consumers nourish secondary consumers.
  • The ecosystem’s biotic components are in charge of collecting the energy required for the transformation of inorganic substances into organic substances.
  • The characteristics of the ecosystem and ecological niches are influenced by both biotic and abiotic influences.

Abiotic Factors’ Definition

  • The non-living physical and chemical makeup of nature is what is referred to as an ecosystem’s abiotic variables or abiotic components.
  • Abiotic influences include, among other things, elements like sunshine, water availability, air, soil, rocks, tides, temperature, rain, and humidity.
  • These elements have an impact on how living things develop, endure, reproduce, and work within ecosystems.
  • All environmental resources are either used by various living things or rendered useless to living things after being used by others.
  • Rocks and other materials naturally deteriorate through hydrolysis and other physical processes.
  • All non-living creatures, such as air conditions and water supplies, are referred to as abiotic variables.
  • Depending on the kind of ecosystem, an ecosystem’s abiotic components vary as well. In the desert environment, sand plays a crucial role as an abiotic factor, whereas rainfall is an abiotic element in the tropical forest ecosystem.
  • In addition to other abiotic elements like water clarity, aerial exposure, and water tides, the marine environment also includes pressure and sound waves.
  • Different ecosystems’ biotic elements adjust to their environment’s abiotic elements. The archaea that live in harsh settings and depend on biotic elements for survival and development are one example of this.
  • The abiotic variables have an impact on the ecosystems’ live creatures as well.
  • Only those creatures that can tolerate these abiotic stresses will survive in such habitats, depending on their capacity.
  • These elements occasionally change how certain ecosystems behave. A tropical ecosystem may become a desert ecosystem if there is insufficient rainfall.

Key Differences (Biotic Factors vs Abiotic Factors)

Basis for Comparison Biotic factors Abiotic factors
Definition The biotic factor or biotic component is the living organism that shapes an ecosystem. Abiotic factors or abiotic components of an ecosystem are the non-living physical and chemical composition of nature.
Dependency Biotic factors depend on abiotic factors for their survival and growth. Abiotic factors do not depend on biotic factors for their existence.
Measurement The measurement of the biotic component is subjective. The measurement of the abiotic component is objective.
Relationship Living organisms might be directly or indirectly related to other organisms in an ecosystem. Abiotic factors determine the number and type of living organisms surviving in an ecosystem.
Adaptation Biotic factors are capable of adapting to changes in the environment. Abiotic factors don’t have the ability to adapt according to the environmental conditions.
Limiting factors Changes in one biotic factor rarely cause changes in other groups. Changes in any abiotic factor might bring significant changes in the biotic factors.
Components Biotic factors include various plants, animals, bacteria, and algae that act as producers, consumers, or decomposers. Abiotic factors include soil topography, climate, and natural disturbances of the ecosystem.
Resources Biotic resources are forests and forest products, marine resources like fish, etc. Abiotic resources include land, water, soil, and coal.
Association Biotic factors might form different associations like symbiosis, parasitism, and predator-prey association. No such associations are formed between abiotic factors.
Examples Humans, insects, wild animals, birds, bacteria, etc. are some examples of biotic factors. Soil, rainfall, humidity, temperature, pH, climate, etc. are some examples of abiotic factors.

Examples of Biotic Factors


  • One of the most significant biotic variables influencing the health of the environment and the survival of other living things is human activity.
  • Humans have significantly altered the global ecology as a result of different technological breakthroughs, in addition to other climatic changes that are occurring naturally.
  • The impact of human activity on the carbon cycle is one of the most glaring examples of this. Carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide emissions are rising as a result of expanding businesses and vehicles, which has an immediate impact on the global climate and air quality.
  • The quantity and quality of soil, land, and water have all seen significant changes as a result of other activities like deforestation and urbanization.
  • These modifications add up to quickly modify the climate, which causes the extinction of many species in large numbers.
  • Therefore, humans are the most significant biotic component in any ecosystem.


  • It is believed that cyanobacteria were the first living things to ever exist on earth.
  • These single-celled autotrophic microbes were crucial in shaping or transforming the world’s ecology into what it is now.
  • The ability to store solar energy and use it to transform inorganic carbon molecules into organic ones was possessed by these species.
  • There was no oxygen on earth prior to the cyanobacteria. As a result, they produced food by anaerobic respiration.
  • Additionally, cyanobacteria are in charge of turning carbon dioxide into oxygen. Numerous more creatures were created as a result of the release of oxygen.
  • Cyanobacteria nearly became extinct when new and highly developed creatures developed on the planet. However, by creating blooms in many locations throughout the world, they adapted to the new environment.

Examples of Abiotic Factors


  • One of the key abiotic elements that affects the pace of metabolic response and, consequently, the survival of diverse biotic factors is temperature.
  • The rate of an enzyme-catalyzed reaction also increases as the temperature rises. However, this only occurs up to a certain point.
  • These enzymes might get denatured as the temperature rises. All living things are impacted by the chemical processes that are halted by crucial enzyme denaturation.
  • Similar to this, variations in temperature also affect the kinds of creatures that live in an environment.
  • Only species that can resist such temperatures and extremophiles may survive in such settings.
  • A similar process takes place in colder climates, such as those found in mountains and higher elevations.

Light availability

  • Another significant abiotic element that influences animal breeding cycles and producers’ rates of photosynthesis is sunshine availability.
  • Other environmental elements, including rainfall, water cycles, and other activities, affect how much light is available.
  • Long stretches of time without oxygen have an impact on how animals produce food. The entire ecology is eventually impacted by this.

Toxins and pollutants

  • Pollutants and toxins of all types are harmful to the ecosystem’s biological components.
  • The tissues and metabolic processes of numerous living species are affected by these poisons. As a result, many illnesses may develop.
  • They also have an impact on the climate, which in turn has an impact on abiotic elements like rainfall and humidity.

References and Sources

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