Etosha: Place of Dry Water Etosha is an ecosystem that contains many interacting species of organisms and their physical environment. As the seasons change, the temperature and climate affect the biotic and abiotic factors. Biotic factors are the living organisms that are affected by abiotic factors. Abiotic factors are the non-living or physical factor that directly affects the living organisms. Etosha displays all type of biotic and abiotic factors as the seasons change and the rainy seasons come again to start the cycle again.
A biotic factor is the predator and prey relationship. Etosha displays this through many of its organisms- turtle and dove, cheetah and zebra, lion and frog, and snake and frog respectively. The parasite and host relationship constitutes as a biotic factory. An example of this is the squirrel, the host and the fleas, the parasite. There exists mutualism in Etosha. The mother fox finds bugs on its young ones and this provides food for the mothers. The bugs use the mother to live on and to live off of. Therefore, each organism benefits from their relationship. Competition exists between male bullfrogs over the female bullfrogs for mating. They may go to the extent of eating one another. The male lions also fight one another over the female lioness for mating. An example of a food chain in Etosha starts with bugs. Then, the bullfrogs eat the bugs. Bullfrogs eat other bullfrogs for competition and a lion eats the bullfrog. The squirrel has a long tail to shade it from the sun, which is an example of adaptation. Another adaptation is the large ears of the bat ear fox, which allow it to hear sounds of the bugs in the ground for food. The bullfrog camouflage in the swamp by cryptic coloration. It is the same color as its environment. These are the major biotic factors, which exist in Etosha.
The abiotic factor that persists in Etosha is the soil, which turns dry from the heat and sun. It turns to a desert and many animals move away until the next large rainfall, which creates lakes for the animal activity in a year. The precipitation in Etosha is an important factor because it provides water for the animals and the plants. It is also a home for small organisms such as the bullfrog. The heat causes the lakes to dry and the movement of animals until the next rainy season. This heat even kills some animals such as the pelicans. The animals start to the water holes before morning because of the extreme heat. The animals get light from the sun as their main source. On a whole, many animals go to sleep when the sun goes down and will start again in the morning for their quest for food and survival. A chemical cycle that occurred in Etosha was the Nitrogen Cycle. Nitrogen fixation occurs when the thunderstorms pass through Etosha. In the soil, bacteria convert ammonia to nitrate through nitrification. Assimilation occurs when plant proteins convert to animal protein with the herbivores like the giraffe. The pelican goes through ammonification when it dies; the bacteria decompose into ammonia again. Lastly, denitrification occurs when nitrate converts to nitrogen, which is released into the environment. These are the major abiotic and biotic factors within the Etosha environment.