Non-living parts of the environment that affect living organisms and the functioning of ecosystems / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
In biology and ecology, abiotic components or abiotic factors are non-living chemical and physical parts of the environment that affect living organisms and the functioning of ecosystems. Abiotic factors and the phenomena associated with them underpin biology as a whole. They affect a plethora of species, in all forms of environmental conditions, such as marine or land animals. Humans can make or change abiotic factors in a species' environment. For instance, fertilizers can affect a snail's habitat, or the greenhouse gases which humans utilize can change marine pH levels.
Abiotic components include physical conditions and non-living resources that affect living organisms in terms of growth, maintenance, and reproduction. Resources are distinguished as substances or objects in the environment required by one organism and consumed or otherwise made unavailable for use by other organisms. Component degradation of a substance occurs by chemical or physical processes, e.g. hydrolysis. All non-living components of an ecosystem, such as atmospheric conditions and water resources, are called abiotic components.