Components of Ecosystem | Abiotic Components of Ecosystem

In this segment we are going to discuss about the Components of Ecosystem and the major Abiotic Components of Ecosystem so stick around and keep reading.

A biotic community includes only living organisms of a particular area. It does not deal with the abiotic components of that area. Ecosystem is also an ecological mythic includes both living (biotic) as well as non-living (abiotic) components of a particular area. The effect of living organisms on abiotic components and vice-versa therefore can be studied only in an ecosystem. Hence ecosystem is called basic and functional unit of ecology 

Term ‘ecosystem’ was given by A.G Tansley (1935). It can be defined as ‘a basic and functional ecological unit which includes all biotic and abiotic components of a given area and involves their mutual interaction. Ecosystem is therefore a biotic community along with its abiotic surroundings. Some examples of ecosystem include: pond, desert, grassland, lake, forest, estuary, etc. 

An ecosystem can be terrestrial or aquatic. It can be as small as a single drop of water and as big as entire..ocean. But an ecosystem. Must have a well-defined boundary…. All living and nonliving…components within this boundary are the constituents of the ecosystem. 

Components of the ecosystem are both biotic as well as abiotic. Both these Components interact with each other and make the ecosystem functional. The biotic components include all living organisms such as micro-organisms, plants and animals. The abiotic components of the ecosystem include temperature, light, water, air and other gases, humidity, soil, mineral components etc. 


These include the non-living components of the ecosystem. Broadly these can be divided into two types-1. Climatic factors and 2. Edaphic factors. Climatic factors include temperature, light, water, gases etc. Edaphic factors include soil, pH, salinity, mineral nutrients, geographical location etc.

You have studied about many of the abiotic factors in previous article 

A Brief Description of Some Important abiotic Factors is Being Given Here 


Light is also one of the most important abiotic factors. All plants and animals indirectly on light. Physically light is radiant energy. Light which is visible to us and have a wavelength ranging between 350 nm to 750 nm. The quality of light (intensity, duration) influences the living organisms in many ways. 

Some important of light have been summarized below 👇


It is the important function of light. Light is necessary for the formation of food in plants They convert the light energy (radiant energy) into chemical energy and od in plants. The food. This conversion process is called photosynthesis. The food formed by plants is also for animals. Hence all organisms depend on light for food.  


Light also induces photochemical reaction, resulting in the formation of skin pigments or melanophores. In organisms, which live in complete absence of light, melanophores are completely absent.  


organs Light also induces the formation of photoreceptor organs. Organism which lives in Complete dark have no eyes. For example, adult Fasciola hepatica (Endoparasite of sheep) no eyes, but its larva-Miracidium (which is free living) has a rudimentary eye spot. Morally, in many cave dwellers eyes are absent. 


Increase in light intensity also increases the rate of photosynthesis (while other factors are not the limiting factors). At high light intensity, rate of respiration also increases. In organisms living in dark, the rate of metabolism is relatively low 


In plants, light helps in the differentiation of tissues. High light intensity causes the shortening of internodes, smaller leaves, cells and more flowers. 

Movement m plants 

Plant so bending movements towards unilateral light. This effect is called phototropism. Some plant such as Oxalis show bending of leaves at night (nyctinasty) 

Feeding time of organism  

Most of the organism are active during light (day time) for their food capturing. Some are active at night (dark). These are called theses are called nocturnal organisms.These 


In plant the duration of light has specific effect on flowering and other processes is called photoperiodism. Response to photoperiod is also found in animals. 

Diurnal rhythms in animal 

Diurnal y such as wakening, sleeping, feeding, defecation, etc. in animals are also regulated by the light, 

2. Temperature 

Organisms can survive only in a narrow range of temperature, which help in their metabolism. Organisms are highly sensitive to temperature changes and accordingly them undergo morphological, behavioral and physiological adaptations to suit the extremes of temperature. A high and a low temperature may cause the death of the Organism. 

In cold blooded animal (Poikilotherms), which do not have a constant body temperature. Their temperature fluctuates with the temperature of the surroundings, the effect of temperature changes is more apparent. These animals exhibit phenomena like aestivation (summer sleep) and hibernation (winter sleep). 

Warm-blooded animals (Homeotherms) have constant body temperature. However, these organisms also need a suitable environmental temperature to execute their functions effectively. 

In plants, temperature also affect flowering. Low temperature induces flowering. This effect is called Vernalisation. 

High temperature causes an increase in the rate of transpiration. 

temperature changes induce migratory habits in animals. This is called thermal 

temperature change promotes the formation of spores, cysts and seeds. 

Temperature can affect the size of body and its parts. A cold temperature causes Size while hot temperature causes the reduction in size. This is D temperature the increase called Bergman’s rule. 

Temperature also affects the size of body extremities of. Nose, tail, neck, such as ear etc. These are shorter in animals living in colder area while longer in organisms living in hot areas, this is called Allen rule 

Temperature also affects the pigmentation of skin in many animal.


 3. Gases 

Atmospheric gases such as oxygen, carbon dioxide and nitrogen play an important role in biological activities. 

Oxygen helps in the respiration and thereby in the product Oxygen also helps in the oxidation or decomposition of organic matter 

Carbon dioxide gas helps in photosynthesis and maintains the green effect to keep earth warm. 

O Nitrogen is essential for all organisms. It is an essential component of Nucleic acids and proteins. Nucleic  

Many bacteria and blue green algae can fix atmospheric nitrogen to ammonium which can be utilized by plants for the synthesis of proteins. 

 4. Wind 

Wind is helpful for organisms in many ways 

(I)Transpiration: Wind increase the rate of transpiration thereby helps the plants to get rid of excess of water. 

(ii) Soil erosion: Soil particles are scattered by wind. It can therefore change the Edaphic factors of the ecosystem 

(iii) Pollination: Wind is the main pollinating agent for many plants. Pollen grains of one flower reach up to the stigma of another flower mainly through wind. 

(iv) Dispersal: Many seeds, fruits etc. are dispersed by the wind current. Wind therefore, helps in the dispersal of species. 

(U) Regulation of weather: Wind direction also affect the weather condition and rainfall. 

5. Water 

Water is the prime abiotic factor in all ecosystems. It is especially important in aquatic ecosystems, Water exists in all three states–solid, liquid and gas Water helps the living organisms in following manner Water is essential for photosynthesis. It is the main source of oxygen (released in photosynthesis). It is essential for metabolic activities of organisms. Water helps the organisms to get rid of excessive heat. Water helps the animals to excrete out their waste. the habitat lor many animals and plant varieties. Water helps in the absorption or helps in the absorption of minerals by the plants from soil of water in desert, force animals to develop xeric adaptations. Whereas g sardine of water in aquatic medium induces organisms to develop aquatic adaptations 

6. Humidity

Humidity in the atmosphere directly influence the rate of water evaporation Form the body of animals (as perspiration) and plants (as transpiration) 

Algae, bryophytes and epiphytes can grow only in humid areas. 

and animals both have various adaptations to withstand dry conditions. 


pH of the medium refers to the concentration of hydrogen ions. 

pH of the medium also has a direct impact on the life of organism 

Most of the animals and plants flourish in an optimal pH range. Itis 7 for most of the organisms. 

However, some plants and animals can thrive in acidic conditions while still 

other require alkaline conditions of soil and water. 

8. Soil 

It is the upper shallow layer of earth which consists of very fine sand particles, organic and inorganic depositions. 

It forms the habitat of all terrestrial organisms. 

Soil helps to anchor the plants. It provides water and mineral ions to the plants. 

Soil is also the habitat of many microorganisms 

Soil texture greatly affects the distribution of organisms. 

9. Mineral elements 

Mineral elements are essential for all organisms. These are especially important for plants which take them directly from the soil. 

The availability of these essential minerals greatly affects the distribution of organisms, 

Plants living in nitrogen deficient areas have certain adaptations for obtaining it. These include the association with nitrogen fixers and insectivorous nature. 

Marine animals face severe problem of salt accumulation. They therefore have special salt eliminating glands. 

On the other hand, fresh water animals usually have low salt concentration, so they always try to obtain mineral salts. 

10. Topography 

Topography refers to the surface configuration of an area such a valleys, altitude and hills such as plains, slops etc.) 

These surface conditions also influence the distribution of organisms 

Topography also causes isolation of organisms and formation of new species 

11. Background 

Most organisms for various purposes have a body texture, color patterns the background. This allows them to camouflage themselves so that they are no to their preys or predators. Thus, it helps in protection as well as in food capture similar to phenomenon is called mimicry. Example, Lions and camels are sand-colored jellyfishes and sea cucumbers are glassy. The Chameleon can change its body e according to its surroundings. 


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