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Biotic and Abiotic Factors in Ecosystems

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Biotic and Abiotic Factors in Ecosystems

Life Science

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You will learn about abiotic and biotic factors in ecosystems.

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Now You Know

After completing this tutorial, you will be able to complete the following:

  • Describe the abiotic parts of an ecosystem.
  • Describe the biotic parts of an ecosystem.

Everything You'll Have Covered

Biotic and Abiotic Factors in Ecosystems

Ecosystems are made up of both living organisms, such as plants and animals, and nonliving elements, such as light, water, and soil. The survival of the living components of an ecosystem is directly related to the various interactions between plants and animals and the abiotic factors of the environment.

Biotic Factors

An ecosystem's biotic factors include all living organisms, namely plants and animals, that exist within the ecosystem. These living organisms can be broken down into three classifications: producers, consumers, and decomposers.

Producers, such as most plants and some types of bacteria, have the ability to make their own food. Plants do this through photosynthesis, a process by which energy from sunlight is converted into sugars that serve as nutrients.

The consumer group, which mainly includes animal life forms, is completely dependent upon other organisms for energy. These organisms consume plants and other animals as their source of food.

Decomposers feed on the dead bodies and waste materials of animals and plants. The waste products that they release are used as nutrients by producers. Some examples of decomposers include fungi and decomposing bacteria.

Abiotic Factors

The abiotic factors include all the nonliving elements of an ecosystem. These elements include light, heat, water, soil, air, and minerals. The living organisms in an ecosystem rely heavily on the specific abiotic factors of their environment. For example, because of their need to perform photosynthesis, plants are highly dependent upon abiotic factors such as light, water, carbon dioxide, and minerals for their survival.

Tutorial Details

Approximate Time 2 Minutes
Pre-requisite Concepts Students should be familiar with the concepts of food webs, food chains, and ecosystems.
Course Life Science
Type of Tutorial Animation
Key Vocabulary abiotic factors, biotic factors, ecosystem