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Difference between Biotic and Abiotic Components


Biotic and abiotic components play a key role in balancing an ecosystem. While checking the difference between biotic and abiotic components, understand that biotic refers to all the living entities in an ecosystem, whereas the abiotic factors relate to non-living things. A few of many abiotic examples include physical conditions of an ecosystem (pH, salinity, temperature, etc.) and the chemical components (nutrients present in water, air, and soil, etc.) Hence, both of these components vitally affects the existence and reproduction of living beings.

Biotic and abiotic factors correlate to each other such that if one of them changes, the other will also alter itself. Hence, the whole ecosystem will face the consequences. To know more, let’s move further and check out the differences between the two!

 Biotic ComponentsAbiotic Components
RelationshipLiving beings may directly or indirectly interrelate with other organisms.Such factors are helpful in determining the types and number of living beings residing in an ecosystem
MeasurementSubjective typeObjective type
Limiting FactorsA change in a biotic factor scarcely effects the othersAlterations in these components can bring about huge changes in the environment
ModificationsThese factors can modify to the changes in ecosystemThese factors are not able to modify as per the environmental conditions
ResourcesMajor resources are forestsMajor resources are water, land, soil, and air.
ExamplesBacteria, wild animals, insects, and humans, etc.Humidity, rainfall, pH changes, temperature, and soil, etc.

A Brief Note on Similarities between Biotic & Abiotic Components

Both of these components are linked to each other, be it in better or worse condition. So, due to this interlinking, biotic and abiotic components influence the ecosystem. The sole difference lies in one relating to living things while the other referring to non-living components. An ecosystem is mostly composed of biotic elements, but it’s useless without the abiotic elements.

Learn the Differences between Biotic & Abiotic Components

1.Literal Meanings


As indicated by the name, it consists of two words, “bio” and “ic.” The word Bio means life, whereas Ic refers to liking. Therefore, the term biotic means “like a life” and refers to all living organisms included in an ecosystem.


Just like the word biotic, abiotic comes from the root words, “a” meaning “without,” and “bio” means “life.” So, abiotic components include all those factors in an ecosystem that are non-living or without life.

2.Influential Factors


All the biotic components/factors affect the living organisms in an ecosystem, either directly or indirectly. The major portion consists of the living organisms, other living organisms interacting with them, correlation of organisms with their waste, predator & prey relation, parasitism, etc.


The influential factors of abiotic have the capability, for living entities, to reproduce and survive. However, these factors tend to limit the increase in the population. They assist in determining the number and types of living organisms that can endure in an ecosystem.

3.Additional Information


Abiotic components further have different kinds of living organisms in them, such as consumers/heterotrophs, producers/autotrophs, and decomposers/detrivores. Autotrophs or producers are those kinds of living entities able to prepare their food on their own. Examples include green algae, green plants, bacteria, and so on.

Furthermore, they consist of consumers who, explicitly or implicitly, depend on producers to fetch food. Examples include humans. Next, decomposers are the biotic components that rely on the dead or decayed for their food, such as bacteria and fungi.


All those factors that examine the total number and types of living beings to survive in an ecosystem are included in abiotic factors. Therefore, even a little change in such factors can appear with drastic variations in biotic factors.

The major of these resources consist of water, land, coal, and soil, etc. You might have also noticed that alterations in these abiotic factors can help evolve the chemistry of several ecosystems. For example, a tropical ecosystem can adapt to become a desert ecosystem due to the shortage of rainfall.



All the living things residing in an ecosystem comes under biotic components. The common examples include producers/autotrophs, detrivores/decomposers, consumers/heterotrophs, etc.


All of the abiotic factors depend only on the kind of ecosystem. For example, for a terrestrial ecosystem, the abiotic factors are water, air, temperature, altitude, humidity, the pH level of soil, etc. Moreover, in an aquatic ecosystem, the components are oxygen level, water salinity, water flow rate, temperature, pH levels, etc.


A thorough discussion on the difference between biotic and abiotic components suggested that they work synergistically with each other, and covers all portions of an ecosystem. All in all, abiotic factors help in regulating the existence of a species in an environment. Whereas on the other hand, the other (biotic) factors rely on the abiotic to get their food, defense, durability, and reproduction.

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