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Abiotic and Biotic Factors Review

By John Aldrin-Toribio Oct 18, 2014 974 Words
In time immemorial living things (the biotic factors) and non-living things have been interacting with one another for one reason, which is to survive. Both factors interact in one grandiose community where-in all forms of ecosystems, such as: desert, savanna, tundra, tropical rain-forest, and the like; are deem to be found and this community is our planet earth. As found in many textbooks and other science oriented reading materials, the earth is also considered as an ecosystem as well because it has been a place where both non-living and living things co-exist and intermingle with each other to set balance in planet earth because the absence of either the biotic or abiotic factors, especially the abiotic factors, would set a great impact to the heirarchy of living creatures. But ever wonder how these two factors work together to maintain equilibrium in this planet we live in?

Biotic factors as mentioned earlier are the life forms composing an ecosystem like humans, animals, fungus, bacteria and viruses. Biotic factors also include the byproducts created by these living things such as excretas of human, animals and insects, honey created by the bees, dry leaves that falls off the trees, and even these living things bodies as these creatures decay when they die. On the other hand Abiotic factors are those things that are non-living yet contribute to sustain the lives of each and every living things that lives on land, water, and in air. Some samples of abiotic factors are the atmosphere where fundamental gases needed by living organisms are found, the soil where we step on, the climate of an area, the four seasons (namely: winter, spring, summer, and fall), the water we drink, pollutants, light intensity, temperature, humidity, and etcetera. These two factors co-exist in an ecosystem in a way that one way or another both or one will benefit from each other and have a symbiotic relationship. From this symbiotic relation interaction of biotic factors and abiotic factors happen.

When we say relationship we talk about the bond between two or a group of monoatomic or polyatomic matter. The word atom was used to emphasize that formation of bond doesn't only includes living matters because a relation can take place also between living and non-living matters or even with both non-living matter where-in either one will only benefit or both will be bona fide beneficiaries in the process of surviving.

Relationship of biotic and abiotic factors may come in different ways. It can be in the form of mutualism where both suffice each other needs. Like for instance, the relationship of an oxpecker (a kind of bird) with a rhinoceros or a zebra. The oxpecker cleans the top of the rhinoceros or zebra and get rid of the lices that rhino and zerbra have and in return the rhino or zebra provides food to the oxpecker because the dirt and insects on top of them already serve as the birds food. Another form of relationship in an ecosystem is commensalism where one organism benefits from the other without harming it. An example if this is the interaction of sea anemones which have stinging tentacles and the clownfish which shelters among them. In this commensalism relationship, the clownfish is protected from their predators because the tentacles of the sea anemones keep these predators away from the clownfish by stinging them. Other class of relationships are parasitism, where one benefits the other by harming the other organisms such as the relationship of human and tape worms, and amensalism in which one strives to survive by inhibiting or destroying the other specie but not harming it. Unlike commensalism, the relationship that takes place in an amensalism relationship are somehow mutual however in this relationship strong species are believed to survive over weak ones like when a herd of cows competes with a few number of horses in a grassland. In this scenario the greater number of species (in this case, the cows) will greatly consume almost all the foods (the grass) while the less number will have less of the hundred percent food.

Noticed that the aforementioned relationships and examples involves interactions of biotic factors. How about the interaction of abiotic and biotic factors? Wonder how these two intersects to built a bond? Apart from what we know about how abiotic factors that these pertains to the non-living bodies of an ecosystem, involvement of abiotic factors in maintaining balance to ecosystem is said to be very essential because without it the whole system would not become functional thus crushing whatever follows on the system. The reason behind this is that these abiotic factors are the primary agent in sustaining life because they are the sources if energy of all the living bodies and they compliment with biotic factors in the formation of the food web. An example of this is the sun, sun is a non living body and the source of energy of every living body specially plants. Sunlight is needed by plants in manufacturing its food via the process if photosynthesis. Also other abiotic factors such as water and air contributes to the process of photosynthesis. Later on this plant will be eaten by a rat or other animals that are herbivours or plant eater then this creature that has eaten the plant will then be eaten by another specie and transfer of energy takes place. Furthermore as the process of energy transfers ensues there will be a time that the last consumer who receives the least energy will be decomposed and turn into nutrients, which is also a abiotic factor, and finally will be usef again for the manufacturing of foods for the plants then the whole cycle continues. This is how abiotic and biotic factors interact to stabilize balance in an ecosystem.

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