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How do biotic and abiotic factors relate to each other?

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maxine_gymnast_1 | Student, Grade 7 | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 2, 2013 at 9:26 PM via web

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How do biotic and abiotic factors relate to each other?

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ncchemist | eNotes Employee

Posted November 2, 2013 at 11:50 PM (Answer #1)

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Both of these terms are related to describing components of an ecosystem, or the community of living organisms that live in a particular environmental system.  Biotic factors are the living components of an ecosystem (biotic meaning biological).  These include living animals, plants, and microscopic organisms like bacteria.

Abiotic factors are the non-living components of an ecosystem.  The prefix "a" means "anti" in this sense, or anti-biological.  Abiotic factors include the soil, air, geographic landforms (mountains, rocks, etc.), and water systems (ocean, river, lake, etc.) that comprise a given ecosystem.  The acronym SWATS is often used here, meaning Soil, Water, Air, Temperature, and Sunlight.

Biotic and abiotic factors both influence each other.  The abiotic factors will determine what kinds of biotic factors will be present.  Particular organisms and plant forms are suited for particular types of environments.  For example, frigid climates will not support lizards and other cold-blooded animals.  Instead, large, blubbery mammals like whales and polar bears are much better suited to this type of environment.  At the same time, the biotic factors will influence the abiotic factors.  Microbes and plant life in a lake will determine what the different factors of the water will be (sunlight levels, acidity, murkiness, etc.).  So both types of factors will influence each other to determine the ecosystem.

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ayl0124 | TA , Grade 12 | Valedictorian

Posted May 24, 2014 at 7:37 PM (Answer #2)

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Biotic means "living."

Abiotic means the exact opposite, "nonliving." 

Some abiotic factors include weather, space, water, sunlight, etc.

Both factors can benefit and harm the other. For example, plenty of sunlight is very important for plants because it allows them to photosynthesize. Likewise, water is beneficial to both plants and animals in an ecosystem. A change in abiotic features over a long period of time may cause evolution to occur by killing off the "weak" (natural selection). 

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laurto | TA , Grade 10 | Valedictorian

Posted May 31, 2014 at 6:45 PM (Answer #3)

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There is a huge difference between bioitic and abiotic. Biotic means living ("bio") and abiotic, as stated by ayl0124, is the opposite, meaning nonliving. Biotic factors are part of the ecosystem. Some of these include plants and bacteria. Abiotic factors are things like air and soil. Both have an effect on the other. The best way to explain this the way the soil affects the way a plant grows. If the soil  is not good, the plant will either not grow or not grow well. 

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