Biotic and Abiotic Factors

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Biotic and Abiotic Factors

Everything that surrounds and affects the life of an organism is known as environment. The interaction between the organism and environment are highly complex. Our ecosystem is composed of living and non living things. These are termed as biotic & abiotic factors. They are always in flux and keep changing continuously.

  • Biotic Components :

Any living thing within an ecosystem is considered as a biotic factor. They are categorised as follows.

  • Producers :  

Producers are also known as Autotrophs, In Greek   “Auto” means “self” and

“troph” means food. They are the source for life on earth. These organisms can prepare food on their own by the process of photosynthesis. The first life found

on earth was producers. Primary producers are the green plants also known as

green gold. They are the source of food for other organisms.

  • Consumers :

Consumers are also known as “Heterotrophs”. In Greek, “Hetero” means “other” and “troph” means food . These organisms feed on other living organisms for food. These are incapable of producing their own food by photosynthesis hence, feed on plants or animals or both.


  1. Micro Consumers:


a) Herbivores: These are the primary consumers that feed only on plants. Example – Cow, rabbit

b) Secondary Consumers: The organisms that feed on primary consumers. Example : wolf

c) Carnivores: The organisms that feed on secondary consumers. Example – lion.

d) Omnivores: The organisms that feed on both plants & animals.

Example – Human beings.

e) Scavengers: The organisms that feed on dead animals and convert them into organic matter.

Example – vulture, eagle etc.

2. Macro Consumers :

 Decomposers are also known as saprophytes where “Sapro” means “decay” and “troph” means “food”.

The organisms that feed on dead and decaying organisms and convert the complex organic matter into simpler form which can be easily taken by plants. These include soil bacteria, fungus , worms  flies and other organisms. These organisms metabolize waste products and convert them into rich fertilizers.

Example: Earthworm, fungus, virus etc.

  • Abiotic Components :

These are non-living components present in the ecosystem. Earth is the only planet that supports life due to the presence of these abiotic factors. These factors are most important as they determine where and how the organism exits in its environment and given as below.

  •  Soil :

The upper layer of the earth rich in organic matter, minerals and nutrients. There are different types of soil depending upon the texture and origin they can classified into many types. Each type is different from other in the terms of composition.  Soil is very essential for the growth of the plants as it provides all the required nutrients for their growth.

  • Atmosphere :

This is the layer of the air that surrounds the earth. It creates the condition suitable for the existence of life on earth. The gas that is essential for the existence of life is present in the atmosphere.

  • Sun :

Sun is the source of energy on earth. it is essential for growth of plants. Solar energy is directly taken by the plants for preparing food in the process of photosynthesis. Since animals cannot use solar energy directly they obtain it indirectly by consuming plants.

It has a greater impact on the growth of the plants. The temperature of the earth is also maintained due to the heat produced by the sun and as a result we have different seasons.


Sun is the only source of light on earth. It widely affects the growth of the plants. Many plants grow well when exposed to proper sunlight.

  • Water :

Water is the universal solvent. Many biochemical reactions take place in the aqueous medium. It helps in regulating the body temperature. Rainfall is one of the major source for water.

  • Nutrients :

The movement and exchange of organic and inorganic matter back into the nature is known as nutrient cycle. There are three major nutrient cycles that are essential and responsible for the life on earth which are as follows:

  • Water cycle
  • Nitrogen cycle
  • Oxygen cycle

Check Point

Fill in the blanks:

  1. The layer of air that surrounds the earth is known as __________.
  2. Exchange of organic and inorganic matter back into nature is known as __________.
  3. The only source of light on earth is _____.
  4. The process by which plants prepare their own food is known as __________
  5. Identify the primary consumer among the following.
    1. Tiger
    2. Crocodile
    3. Goat
    4. Cheetha
  6. Which among the following is not the abiotic component?
    1. Soil
    2. Water
    3. Light
    4. Plants
  7. What are the abiotic components required by the producers for preparing their own food?
    1. Sunlight
    2. Water
    3. Soil
    4. Both 1 & 2
  8. Matching:
Column A                    Column B
A.      Land        i.            Omnivores
B.      Virus        ii.            Producer
C.      Human being        iii.            Abiotic component
D.     Sun flower plant        iv.            Saprophytes


Answer Key
  • Atmosphere
  • Nutrient cycle
  • Sun
  • Photosynthesis
  • choice(3)
  • choice(4)
  • choice(4)
  • A-iii,B-iv,c-i, D-ii