What Is the Meaning of Biotic Factors?

Save

Biotic factors are the living components—that is, the plants, animals and other organisms—that constitute an ecosystem. These factors are dependent on one another for sustenance. They interact with the abiotic factors in which they subsist, such as air, water, temperature and soil, thereby functioning together as a unit. Biotic factors are variously classified as primary producers, primary consumers, secondary consumers, tertiary consumers, and detritivores or decomposers, depending on their respective feeding positions within an ecosystem.

Primary Producers

  • Primary producers are also known as autotrophs, or self-feeders, as they make their own food by using abiotic ingredients such as sunlight. They provide food for other living things in an ecosystem either directly or indirectly. Primary producers are mainly green plants, algae or other organisms that can create energy from the sun through photosynthesis. Some primary producers, such as specialized bacteria, can create organic nutrients out of inorganic compounds in the absence of sunlight by chemosynthesis.

Primary Consumers

  • Primary consumers are living things that consume primary producers. Also known as herbivores, they obtain energy from a diet of plants. An example of a primary consumer is an orangutan, which thrives on grass, figs and leaves.

Secondary Consumers

  • Secondary consumers derive energy from other consumers. They are either carnivores (meat-eating animals) or omnivores (animals that feed on both plants and animals). Carnivores hunt and consume other animals for their survival; for this reason, they are known as predators. Wolves, bobcats and cougars are carnivores whose sharp claws and powerful jaws help them capture and eat animals such as deer. Grizzly bears and birds such as crows and woodpeckers are examples of omnivores. Grizzly bears eat grasses, roots, fish and small mammals.

Tertiary Consumers

  • Tertiary consumers are carnivores that feed on other carnivores. These animals are at the top of the ecosystem. An owl, to take one example, is a tertiary consumer that eats snakes.

Detritivores or Decomposers

  • Detritivores or decomposers play a vital role in maintaining the ecological balance. They ensure the survival of plants, the primary producers within an ecosystem, by recycling nutrients back to the plants. Earthworms, fungi and bacteria are examples of detritivores that break down dead material and waste into basic ingredients and release inorganic elements into the environment by decomposition. These ingredients can be recycled through the system.

References

Promoted By Zergnet

Comments

Resources

You May Also Like

  • Definition of Density Dependent Factors

    Population ecology is the study of biological patterns within a population of organisms. Density-dependent factors are an essential concept in population ecology....

  • Biotic Factors in Ecosystems

    In ecosystems, biotic factors are all living organisms and the waste that they produce. This refers to large life-forms such as trees...

  • Abiotic & Biotic Factors in Ecosystems

    An ecosystem is made up of biotic and abiotic factors interacting with each other. Abiotic factors can do without biotic factors but...

  • Biotic Factors for a Cheetah

    All living organisms are part of some ecosystem, which consists of the living organisms and non-living features of a particular location. Both...

  • The Definition of Abiotic and Biotic Factors

    Abiotic and biotic factors are what make up an ecosystem. The ecosystem is how the living and nonliving things within the environment...

  • Biotic & Abotic Components of an Ecosystem

    An ecosystem is a biological environment and all the living and nonliving components of that environment. The living components are referred to...

  • Definition of Abiotic Resources

    Abiotic resources are resources that are nonliving. These resources fall into the larger category of natural resources, which occur naturally in the...

  • What Is an Abiotic Factor?

    Nonliving aspects of an ecosystem that impact the species who live there are called abiotic factors. Temperature, sunlight, water, salinity and soil...

Related Searches

Check It Out

Are You Really Getting A Deal From Discount Stores?

M
Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!