Organisms are mutually related to other organisms in order to survive. In addition, organisms also have reciprocal interactions with their environment. Organisms and their environment are involved in a system that makes them need each other. The system reflects a unity of interacting organisms.
Biotic and Abiotic Components
Ecosystem is the merger of each bio system unit that forms reciprocal interactions between organisms and their environment into energy flows, leading to a certain biotic structure and material cycles that occur between organisms and an-organisms. Biosystems are systems consisting of components of organisms. The material cycle in question is the carbon cycle, the water cycle, the nitrogen cycle, and the sulfur cycle which function to prevent a form of material from accumulating somewhere.
Based on the Gaia Hypothesis, organisms, especially microorganisms along with the physical environment produce a control system that keeps the Earth’s condition suitable for life, the conclusion is that organisms will adapt to the physical environment and vice versa, organisms affect the physical environment for life’s purposes. There are two components forming ecosystems that are interrelated with each other. Here are the Biotic and Abiotic Components forming ecosystems:
Abiotic components are environmental components consisting of elements that do not live either physically or chemically in an ecosystem. Abiotic sources are usually obtained from the lithosphere, atmosphere, and hydrosphere. The abiotic component has an important role for biotic components. Here are the abiotic components:
Temperature is an abiotic component that is influenced by many factors such as sunlight radiation, latitude, and altitude. An example is a coconut tree that lives in a windy coastal area. Coconut trees have a strong root system and elastic stems that are not easily broken when exposed to the wind. Meanwhile, at very low temperatures, the organism adapts to morphology by thickening body hair and behavioral adaptation by hibernating.
Water is an abiotic component that is important for all organisms. Even the availability of water affects the distribution of organisms. The volume of water on Earth reaches 1.4 billion km3 derived from sea water by 97%, fresh water by 0.75%, and icebergs by 2%. The volume of water on Earth is constant because of the hydrological cycle.
However, each region has different water availability so the water requirements of each living creature also vary. For example, animals that live in the desert such as camels do morphological adaptations by having a water storage bag so that they can adjust their water use capacity to the environment that tends to lack water. (Also read: Use of Sea Water for Agriculture That Can Be Applied)
Some terrestrial organisms or organisms that live and roam above the ground are able to adapt to environments with high salt content. (Also read: Seawater Salt Levels: Factors and How to Measure)
Sunlight is the main energy source of living things both from the intensity and quality of an ecosystem. For example, the high intensity of sunlight in the desert has made living things that live there adapt morphologically, physiologically, and behaviorally. The intensity and quality of sunlight also affects photosynthesis. For example, photosynthesis that occurs in the water environment only occurs in surface areas that are affordable by sunlight.
- Land and Stone
Land and stone are abiotic components that make an area. They have different types of organisms. Land is also a place where we stand and live together with other living things in an ecosystem. Land becomes a place of life and growth for autotrophic organisms and food search for heterotrophic organisms. (Also read: Marine Sediment Rocks: Definition, Types, and Examples).
Initially, the soil was formed from a weathering process that took place in a very long time. The land consists of four main components, namely minerals, water, air, and organic matter. Soil characteristics include physical structure, texture (composition of soil particles), degree of similarity (pH) and composition of minerals or nutrients can be an indicator of whether the soil is fertile or not. Fertile soil will have plants that make the area have plant-eating organisms.
Climate is a condition or weather condition for a long time in a large area. Climate is formed by the interaction of various abiotic components. Abiotic components are in the form of temperature, sunlight, air humidity and others. Climate consists of a macro climate that includes global, regional, and local climate which includes climate in an area inhabited by a particular community. (Also read: 15 Functions of Oceans in Regulating Climate)
Topography is the location of a place viewed from an altitude above or seen from longitude and latitude. Different topography causes differences in reception of light intensity, humidity, air pressure, and air temperature.
Biotic and Abiotic Components are environmental components that consist of all types of organisms or living things that exist within an ecosystem. There is a dependency between biotic components, which is through the food chain and food webs.
The food chain is the transfer of matter and energy through the process of eating and being eaten in a certain order. Each level of the food chain is called the trophy level. The first trophy level is occupied by organisms that can produce food substances and are called producers like green plants. The second trophy is occupied by herbivores or plant-eating animals which are also called primary consumers. The third trophy level is occupied by animals that eat primary consumers, namely carnivorous animals or meat-eating animals.
Next is the food web. Food webs are actually a series of interconnected food chains in such a way. The biotic component can be divided into two, namely autotrophs and heterotrophs based on how they obtain food. The following is an explanation of the two biotic components. Autotroph is a living creature that can produce their own food by absorbing Co2 compounds and simple inorganic nitrogen compounds, known as “photosynthesis”. Examples of autotrophic organisms are plants, algae, and autotrophic bacteria.
Heterotrophs are living things that really need complex organic compounds to get nutrients and energy, such as elephants, humans, cats, and so on.
Biotic components can be divided into three, namely producers, consumers, and decomposers based on their role. The following is an explanation of the three groups of biotic components.
- Manufacturers or Autotroph Organisms
Autotroph organisms or referred to as producers are organisms that are able to produce their own food. Manufacturers make food by absorbing compounds and inorganic substances to be converted into organic compounds through photosynthesis. Organisms that are classified as autotrophic organisms have a special characteristic that is chlorophyll in the body as in higher plants. In the interaction of biotic and abiotic components, autotrophic organisms are the beginning of the creation of an ecosystem balance.
- Consumers or Heterotrophic Organisms
Heterotrophic organisms or referred to as consumers are organisms that take energy and food sources from other organisms. The autotroph organism cannot produce its own food. The heterotroph component is also called the macro consumer, because the food eaten is smaller. The example of this biotic component is for example, humans and animals that play as carnivores, herbivores, and omnivores.
Herbivores are plant-eating organisms. Examples are buffalo, cattle, goats, rabbits, and zebras. Carnivores are animal-eating organisms (meat), for example, lions, wolves, tigers, cats, and eagles. Omnivores are eating organisms of all types of food, both plants and animals. Consumers can be divided into three, namely:
- Primary consumers are herbivores that eat producers such as algae, bacteria.
- Tertiary consumers are the highest consumers.
- Secondary consumers are carnivores that eat primary consumers.
Decomposers are organisms that make a decomposition process that converts organic materials from dead organisms to inorganic compounds. Examples of organisms called decomposers are algae, fungi, worms, bacteria, and others. Some decomposers that use the remaining organic matter from decomposition are also called detritivores. Examples of this organism are wood lice. There are three types of decomposition, namely:
- Aerobics, oxygen is the recipient of electrons or oxidants.
- Anaerobic, oxygen is not involved, organic material as a recipient of electrons or oxidants.
- Fermentation which is actually anaerobic which is made from oxidized organics and is an electron receiver.
Unitary ecosystems that are regularly formed from these components interact with each other. For example, in an aquarium ecosystem, this ecosystem consists of aquatic plants as an autotroph component, fish as a heterotroph component, plankton as a decomposition component, and which are included in abiotic components namely sand, water, minerals, rocks and oxygen dissolved in water.
In short, the differences in Biotic and Abiotic Components are as follows:
- The biotic component is a component of life while the abiotic component is a component consisting of elements that do not live.
- Abiotic components are soil, water, atmosphere, light, humidity, temperature, and pH. While biotic components are living organisms that are classified as producers, consumers consisting of primary consumers, secondary consumers, tertiary consumers and decomposers.
As organisms that also play an important role in the ecosystem, we should learn not to damage our environment so that the ecosystem remains protected and maintained.