THINK YOU’VE GOT A HANDLE ON THIS US STATE NICKNAME QUIZ?
Words nearby abiotic factor
What is an abiotic factor?
An abiotic factor is a part of an environment or ecosystem that isn’t alive.
Abiotic factors vs. biotic factors
Abiotic factors are usually contrasted with biotic factors. If you know your Greek roots, you could probably guess the meaning of both words on your own!
Bio- means “life” (as in biology, the study of living things, but also as in biography, “life-writing”) from the Greek biōtikós meaning “pertaining to life.” Which is why biotic means “related to life.”
Abiotic factor is generally used in the context of a particular ecosystem. An ecosystem is a bunch of organisms and the environment in which they live. Biotic factors are living parts (the organisms) of that ecosystem, and abiotic factors are nonliving parts (often, the habitat).
Some examples of abiotic factors that can make a difference in the life of an organism include sunshine, amount of water, salinity (salt content) of water, wind, temperature, elevation, soil type, radiation, and pollution.
Let’s think about fish. Some fish need to live in salt water, some fish need to live in fresh water, and some fish need to live in brackish water (water that is a mix of fresh and salt water). An ocean fish, like the clownfish, needs a comparatively high amount of salt in the water to stay alive. But a freshwater fish, like a trout, needs a low amount of salt in the water to stay alive.
The amount of salt in the water, then, is an abiotic factor that can contribute to how suitable an ecosystem is for a clownfish or a trout to live in. The clownfish and the trout are biotic factors in their ecosystems.
One caveat about abiotic factors: they have to come from something that isn’t alive. For example, organic waste products aren’t alive, but they come from something that is alive, so they count as biotic factors, not abiotic.
What are real-life examples of abiotic factor?
Abiotic factor is most often used in the context of biology and ecology. Biologists and biochemists can run experiments testing the effects of various abiotic factors on a particular entity. Ecologists can discuss the effects of abiotic factors on a preexisting ecosystem.
Abiotic factors can change over time. Unfortunately, sometimes that can be a negative result of human action. Pollution, for example, is an abiotic factor that can have a serious impact on an ecosystem.
My 5th graders brainstormed abiotic and biotic factors in a forest ecosystem. Every group listed plastic, pollution, or litter as an abiotic factor. EVERY. SINGLE. GROUP.
— Jessica FriesGaither (@ElemSciTchr) January 26, 2019
But science isn’t all gloom and doom …
What did the biotic factor say to the abiotic factor?
"Get a life"
*ba dum tss*
— 5SOS Updates! (@5SOSUpdatesUSA) September 11, 2013
Example sentences from the Web for abiotic factor
It is the steady accretion of detail that may yet be the most damaging factor in the battle for British hearts and minds.
The quality of the music is a major factor in this recent surge.Down With the King: Christianity Isn’t Hiding in Rap’s Closet|Stereo Williams|December 28, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Therefore in our view we need to talk about our wood management before any other factor in the maturation of The Macallan.
But while the GoPro is impressive by itself, it has some serious wow factor when combined with a drone.
The main factor at the time was simply a lack of opportunity before we ended the book for the big New 52 line-wide relaunch.Gail Simone’s Bisexual Catman and the ‘Secret Six’|Rich Goldstein|December 6, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Where goods are confided to a factor without instructions, authority to exercise a fair and reasonable discretion is implied.
The authority of a factor to fix the terms of selling may be by agreement or by usage, like any other agent.
A factor is employed to sell goods, and not to barter or exchange them, and if he should do this his principal could recover them.
The true causes of the depression were not within the control of the Insular Government or of any ruling factor.The Philippine Islands|John Foreman
This pronunciation of the nasal vowels in French is, as is well known, an important factor in the famous "accent du Midi."Frdric Mistral|Charles Alfred Downer