Skip to content

Difference between Biotic and Abiotic Components


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

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

Comparison Table

ParametersBiotic ComponentsAbiotic Components
RelationshipDirectly or Indirectly Interrelate with other Organisms.Determine the Types and Numbers of Living Beings in an Ecosystem
OriginBiosphereLithosphere, Hydrosphere, Atmosphere
MeasurementSubjective TypeObjective Type
DependencyDependent on Abiotic FactorsCompletely Independent
Limiting FactorsChanges Scarcely Affect the EnvironmentAlterations bring Huge Changes in the Environment
ResourcesForestsWater, Land, Soil, and Air.
Classification of ResourcesProducers, Consumers & DecomposersRenewable & Non-renewable
ExamplesBacteria, Wild Animals, Insects, and HumansHumidity, Rainfall, pH Changes, Temperature, and Soil

Explain Biotic Components

All the living entities residing in an ecosystem refer to biotic components. These are essential for the growth and survival of an ecosystem as they directly influence nature and its reproduction. Besides abiotic factors, biotic components are equally important in balancing the environment. They make a food chain with several resources, such as autotrophs, heterotrophs, and detrivores. An ecosystem consists of numerous plants that make their own food through photosynthesis. These plants are eaten by animals that are the food source for humans. It is just a simple example of how biotic components are vital in continuing the life cycle. Let’s discuss the major biotic resources below:


Producers/Autotrophs: These organisms prepare their food with the help of sunlight and energy, e.g., plants.

Consumers/Heterotrophs: Such organisms depend on producers for their living, e.g., human beings. These living beings are further classified as primary and secondary consumers.

Decomposers/Detrivores: Such organisms are collectively called FBI (Fungi, Bacteria & Invertebrates). These living beings survive by feeding on dead or decayed animals.

Explain Abiotic Components

Abiotic components refer to non-living things involved in balancing an ecosystem. All the physical or chemical changes occurring in an environment are abiotic factors. Examples include natural gases, water, soil, air, sunlight, etc. Not only do these components help the biotic factors grow, but they also create a sound and healthy atmosphere. In other words, biotic components are nothing without abiotic factors. However, these factors are completely independent!

Everything other than living organisms in an ecosystem is abiotic, so we’ve divided them into sub-classes for convenience. These are edaphic abiotic components, topographic components, and climatic components.

Edaphic: these components primarily include minerals, soil, land, valleys, and mountains.

Topographic: such components have a major influence on geography, thus including surface, altitude, slope, etc.

Climatic: these components directly play a role in affecting biotic factors, thus including temperature changes, light, air, natural gases, etc.


Similarities between Biotic & Abiotic Components

Both of these components are linked to each other, whether in better or worse conditions. So, both components influence the ecosystem. The sole difference lies in one relating to living things while the other refers to non-living components. An ecosystem is mostly composed of biotic elements, but it’s useless without the abiotic elements.

Differences between Biotic & Abiotic Components

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.


Similarly, abiotic comes from the root words, “a” meaning “without,” and “bio” means “life.” So, abiotic components are all the non-living factors in an ecosystem.

Influential Factors



All the biotic factors directly or indirectly affect the living organisms in an ecosystem. The major portion consists of the living organisms, other living organisms interacting with them, the 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.

Additional Information


Biotic components have various living organisms, such as producers, consumers, and decomposers. The first ones can prepare their food on their own through photosynthesis, e.g., green algae, green plants, bacteria, etc.

Furthermore, explicitly or implicitly, consumers depend on producers to fetch food, e.g., humans. Next, decomposers rely on the dead or decayed for their food, such as bacteria and fungi.


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

The major of these resources are water, land, coal, soil, etc. Also, the 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 in an ecosystem come under biotic components. The common examples include producers/autotrophs, detrivores/decomposers, consumers/heterotrophs.



All 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 and cover all portions of an ecosystem. All in all, abiotic factors help regulate the existence of a species and its subspecies in an environment. On the other hand, the other (biotic) factors rely on the abiotic to get their food, defense, durability, and reproduction.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *