Factors Affecting the Biotic and Abiotic features in the environment

Essay by eluca1High School, 12th gradeA, October 2008

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Factors affecting the role that the relationships between biotic and abiotic factors contribute to the relationship between foliage and ground coverBy Effie LucasIntroduction:A functioning ecosystem is totally reliant on the way in which factors such as biotic and abiotic interrelate and create a balance of living and non-living. Biotic factors are those features of the environments of organisms arising from the activities of the other living organisms, relating to, produced by, or caused by living organisms (M. Thain/ M. Hickman 2003:16). Abiotic factors are non-living chemical and physical factors in the environment which include light, temperature, water, atmospheric gases, and wind as well as soil. The six major abiotic factors are water, sunlight, oxygen, temperature, soil and climate (http://el.erdc.usace.army.mil/pmis/biocontro l/html /abio tic .html). Biotic and abiotic factors combine to create a system or more precisely, an ecosystem which is a community of living and nonliving things considered as a unit.

Biotic and abiotic factors are interrelated (Groiler 1997:106). If one factor is changed or removed, it impacts the availability of other resources within the system (http://library.thinkquest.org). If an abiotic factor is changed, such as soil nutrient levels, this may affect the growth of a biotic factor such as grass and trees, in turn making the plants decrease in population. This subtle change in turn affects biotic factors such as large organisms that need the plants to survive. This decreases the number of large organisms and affects the balance of the ecosystem. Ground cover is those herbaceous plants, small shrubs and non-vascular plants growing beneath the tree and shrub canopy (museum.gov.ns.ca/mnh/nature/ nhns2/glossary.htm.) Ground cover is used for two main purposes; to hide the ground beneath, or to protect it from erosion or drought. Foliage cover is the percentage of a fixed area covered by crowns of plants surrounded by a vertical...