Select an abiotic material and argue why it is a limiting factor in an ecosystem and its effect on climate.Unlike energy, which passes through our ecosystem and leaves as heat, the materials of...

Select an abiotic material and argue why it is a limiting factor in an ecosystem and its effect on climate.

Unlike energy, which passes through our ecosystem and leaves as heat, the materials of life are reused over and over. In fact, the availability of nutrients limits the size and distribution of organisms.

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bandmanjoe | Middle School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

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Let's talk about the most important abiotic factor on the planet, the availability of fresh water.  When scientists think about looking for life on other planets, they look for water, among other things.  Water is the chief component for life on Earth as we know it, so the availability of water for organisms to conduct their life processes can have a crucial impact on an ecosystem and can serve as a limiting factor as well.  A limiting factor would be a factor that limits the potential of the ecosystem in terms of supporting life among different species of plants and animals.  Think about it like this:  We value water highly in terms of day to day living.  The time we really get thirsty is when there is a breakdown in the availability of fresh drinking water.  One day, they made an announcement at my school that the water would be turned off for the next couple of hours, and the number of requests to go get a drink of water increase fourfold.  The availability of water can also have an effect on the climate of an ecosystem.  Climate is the precipitation and temperature of an area over an extended period of time.

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