We explain to you what the biological factors are and how they are classified. Examples of biotic factors and how they relate to abiotic.
What are the biological factors?
Biotic factors are all those who have life, that is, who are contemplated in some of the realms of life, and whose interactions point to the survival and reproduction of their life. species. They usually refer to what is contemplated in the flora and fauna of a given environment.
Biotic factors are commonly organized in populations, that is, sets of living beings of the same type that share a specific habitat, or in traffic chains ( food) between species, to the extent that living beings compete with each other for food and depend on each other at the same time.
They differ from abiotic factors in that they are not related to life, but to the surrounding matter and its chemical, climatic, physical, etc. processes. non-organic type.
See also: Adaptation of Living Beings.
Classification of the biological factors
Biological factors are classified based on the role they occupy in their ecosystems, and which can be essentially three:
- Producing organizations Also called autotrophs (they produce their own food), they are living beings that synthesize their forms of energy from non-organic matter. Such is the case of plants, which do so from sunlight and water (photosynthesis).
- Consumer organizations Also called heterotrophs (they feed on other living beings), they are those living beings that must consume organic matter to sustain their metabolism, and obtain it from other living beings. These living beings can be of two types:
- Herbivores Those that feed on plants, seeds, roots, algae or vegetables.
- Predators Those who hunt and devour the meat of other consumers.
- Decomposing organisms Also called detritophages, are those living beings that feed on decomposing organic matter, collaborating with the process of "recycling" of matter and energy.
Examples of biotic factors
Some examples of biotic factors can be:
- The forests Large agglomerations of trees of good size, which serve as habitat for many animals and provide constant organic matter to the detritophages of the soil.
- Fungi and insects . Two of the great types of decomposers, which reduce the decomposing organic matter (dead leaves, bark pieces, remains of dead animals, skin shedding, excrement) and assimilate all the nutrients present in it, leaving the rest to nourish again the earth.
- The big predators . Big cats, snakes, birds of prey: the big consumers of animal meat, which feed exclusively on smaller animals. They keep populations under control and eventually die, adding to organic matter for recycling.
- Phytoplankton Present only in marine environments, it is a variety of photosynthetic microorganisms that support the entire marine trophic pyramid, as they are food for larger forms of crustaceans (krill) and even large animals such as whales.
- Herbivores of good size . Such as oxen, antelopes, wildebeest, elephants, etc. They feed on tons of plant organic matter, which then supports the large predators and scavengers that will come later.
Relationship with abiotic factors
The biotic and abiotic factors are distinguished, as we have said, in that the former have to do with life forms, while the latter with the physical-chemical disposition of the non-organic elements of a given habitat . Thus, while animals and plants are biological factors, the pH of the soil, the climate and the composition of the soil will be abiotic factors .
However, both types of factors are strongly linked, since the state of one reflects on that of the other . The chemical composition of the soil, to cite one example, will directly affect its fertility and therefore the ability to sustain plant life, which will in turn sustain consumers and detritus. ; but the existence of these life forms will eventually add layers of organic matter to the soil, keeping it fertile and rich in nutrients that in turn will fix its composition Chemistry.
More in: Abiotic Factors.