Abiotic factors are items that are not living (a = not, bio = life) chemical and physical attributes of an environment that affect living organisms and the function of the ecosystem. The following are examples of abiotic factors within an ecosystem.
- Rocks, minerals, soil, water, air, temperature, climate (polar, arctic, tropical, arid), weather (rain, wind, sunshine), pH, elevation, air pressure
Limiting factors are forms of abiotic factors that keep a population within the ecosystem at a certain size. The most popular limiting factors are the amount of food, shelter, water, and sunlight that are available.
Oppositely, biotic factors are living things (bio = life). Below are examples of nonliving factors within an ecosystem.
- Plants, animals, decomposers, fungi, bacteria, algae
The above lists are by no means all-inclusive. However, I hope they give you a good start to understanding the difference between biotic and abiotic factors within an ecosystem!