Is oxygen a abiotic factor?

Abiotic factors examples

Abiotic factors are the structure on which ecosystems are built. There are physical abiotic factors and chemical abiotic factors and they do not possess life, but they characterize the territory and model the communities present, their combination being more or less favorable for the survival of certain species. In turn, they are disturbed and modified by living beings. To learn about the importance of abiotic factors or abiotic elements in the survival strategies of species and in the conservation of our planet, see this interesting article from EcologíaVerde. Here we talk about what abiotic factors are, their characteristics and examples of these.

Here are some examples of abiotic factors:Below you will see images of some examples of biotic factors and at the end, you will find a short video about what they are and what is the difference between biotic and abiotic factors.

Abiotic animals

To understand what biotic and abiotic factors are in reference to the characteristics and particularities that define these elements, it is necessary to keep in mind their interrelation and dependence with a superior structure in which these factors are integrated, the ecosystem.

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The ecosystem, therefore, and from the perspective of biotic and abiotic factors, could be defined as the interaction between living organisms (Biocenosis) and non-living elements (Biotope) of a specific part of the environment where their relationships result in a coherent unit of organization of the environment.

Ecology identifies the study of living beings with biotic factors, while abiotic or physical factors will focus on the study of the non-living components of the environment that surround species, allowing their development and survival.

By quantifying the availability of essential resources such as sunlight, water, oxygen, inorganic matter or minerals present in an ecosystem, we will be able to establish which organisms can survive and which natural elements will prevail in a given place.

Abiotic factor

The above scheme simplifies the concepts of Biotope and Biocenosis within their relationship with abiotic (All forms of non-living matter in any part of nature) and biotic elements in an ecosystem. Which we can also know more from:

The term “abiotic” comes from the roots of “a-” meaning “without”, and “bio” meaning “life”. Recall that the living parts of an ecosystem are called “biotic factors” as we explained in the corresponding article.

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They are very important to study since they will determine the type of life that develops in a place.  Distribution can be incorporated into the types of terrestrial and aquatic abiotic factors. To differentiate them we have the following table:

All these factors are related and produce interactions between them, that is, when one changes it can affect another, and in turn will affect life in the ecosystem. In the following scheme it is better understood:

Living organisms (vegetation, animals, microorganisms…etc) inhabit places where these factors and components are suitable for them to live, they have created adaptations and have evolved to live in a particular environment, sometimes, changes occur that prevent a certain process or limit its production, here would enter the Limiting Factor.

Air abiotic factor

In ecosystems we find the abiotic factors that shape the landscape and terrain and the biotic factors that “give life” to the ecosystem. To understand in a simple way what abiotic factors are, we must first know the types of ecosystems. These ecosystems have an important relationship with the abiotic factors that condition them.

When we analyze an ecosystem in its entirety, we find that it is formed by a group of living organisms and other non-living elements. Living organisms are all those that make up the flora and fauna on the one hand and microorganisms and bacteria on the other. Everything that has life is simultaneously acting on the characteristics of the ecosystem.

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In turn, these living things are supported by abiotic factors. These are non-living elements that make up the physical elements. These elements are also called essential resources for living beings. Among the abiotic factors we find inorganic matter, rocks and minerals, the amount of incident sunlight, water, oxygen and any element that is not alive. Organisms can use these elements to live and develop.