Full version Interaction With Abiotic Components

Interaction With Abiotic Components

This print version free essay Interaction With Abiotic Components.

Category: Science

Autor: reviewessays 27 November 2010

Words: 856 | Pages: 4

Interaction between Abiotic and Biotic Components

All living organisms depend upon their environment for survival essentials:

1) food

2) shelter

3) breeding site.

In turn the organism interacts with the environment in several ways. For example a plant uses the environment for the three purposes named above but in turn it also removes carbon dioxide and water from the air, it gets eaten by an animal or a parasite and it depends on the soil for its support. Therefore the plant is interacting with the abiotic components and other biotic components. They are both interdependent on each other. At different times of the year the ability of the environment to fulfill the needs of an organism may vary from season to season but interaction always remains, it may be to a lesser degree. This is true even for human beings. Now with advancement in technology we are comfortable in all seasons but it was not the case before. In countries where there is snowfall, people had to store food to tide them over the entire winter. The concept of freezers, heaters, etc was not known.

We have already discussed the classification of abiotic components. They can be divided further into the following categories depending on the way an organism uses the abiotic factors.

1) Inorganic components or nutrients such as carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, water and minerals.

2) Organic compounds such as proteins, carbohydrates and fats. These are components of every organism and link the abiotic components with the biotic components.

3) Climatic factors pertaining to atmospheric factors such as temperature, light, humidity, wind and rainfall and edaphic or pertaining to soil. Why is climate linked to soil type?

Non living and living components influence each other. The soil and climatic conditions determine the type of flora and fauna found in the area.

Biotic components consist of many plants, animals and microbes that are interdependent on each other. So the removal of any one species or population can endanger another. Depending on their mode of nutrition they are either autotrophs, heterotrophs or saprotrophs. Autotrophs synthesize their own food by photosynthesis. In the strict sense they do not produce energy as energy cannot be created or destroyed. It can only be converted from one form to another. Plants convert the light energy from the sun into chemical energy or food. Heterotrophs (herbivorous, carnivorous or omnivorous) all directly or indirectly depend on the plants for their food. Saprotrophs consume the dead remains of plants and animals for food. They break down complex organic substances into simpler substances and the elements enter the earth again to be taken up by plants. Thus, the cycle of exchange of matter continues and also maintains the soil fertility.


An ecosystem is a dynamic system where both the living and non living components are inseparably interrelated and interact mutually through exchange of energy and materials. Thereby they influence the properties of each other. For example the soil type is influenced by the vegetation type found in that area. Fertile soil in forest land where there is continuous replenishment of organic matter and water and sandy infertile soil in the deserts where there is very little dead organic matter. The living and non living components are constantly reacting with each other at all times. Plants are constantly producing food, a part of this food is used by them for their own purpose to get energy and when they are eaten by herbivores the energy is transferred to them and on to carnivores.

An example of the close interaction between abiotic and biotic components in an ecosystem and the result of man’s interference is of the eucalyptus tree and the Australian sub continent. The eucalyptus species is endemic to the Australian subcontinent. The leaves of the eucalyptus are eaten by animals like the koala bear, found in the Australian subcontinent. There are also microbes in the Australian soil to degrade the leaf litter of the eucalyptus tree. There is therefore a close relationship between the flora and fauna there. Now, because of its fast growth and useful timber eucalyptus was introduced in India without regard or concern for other factors. Entire forest tracts that had been cut down for paper industry were planted with eucalyptus. The consequence – disaster. In India no animal feeds on eucalyptus leaves nor do we have microbes that degrade the leaf litter completely. The result is infertile soil instead of the opposite and loss or death of animal life. This is one of the disadvantages of monoculture.

The pond as an example of a healthy ecosystem:

A pond is limited to and demarcated in a confined area and is therefore easy to study the interactions. The abiotic factors are the water, nutrients, oxygen and carbon dioxide. Biotic components are large rooted plants found at the edge of the pond and smaller free floating plants like algae and lotus. These plants are eaten by fish, frogs, insects and man. The nutrients are thus transferred to the next and subsequent trophic levels. This in turn limits the availability of nutrients in the pond and limits the growth of algae beyond a certain point. In other words this constant interaction or interdependence also produces a balance or equilibrium in the ecosystem.