Ecological Factors: Meaning And Classification Of Ecological Factors

Table Of Contents

  • Meaning Of Ecological Factors
  • Categories Of Ecological Factors

Meaning Of Ecological Factors

Ecological factors are those factors in the environment that can influence living organisms or cause changes in any habitat, be it aquatic or terrestrial

Categories Of Classification Of Ecological Factors

Ecological factors are grouped into two categories:

  1. Biotic Factors
  2. Abiotic Factors

Biotic Factors

The biotic factors are the effects of other plants and animals on a given organism. Examples of biotic factors are:

  1. Competition: Competition involves the interactions among two organisms of the same or different species in which one outgrows the other and survives while the other can neither grow nor survive.
  2. Parasitism: This is a close association between two organisms in which one, called the parasite, lives in or on, and feeds at the expense of the other organism, called the host.
  3. Commensalism: Commensalism is an association between two organisms living together in which only one (the commensal) benefits from the association while the other is neither benefited nor harmed.
  4. Predation: Predation is an association between two organisms in which the predator kills the other, called the prey, and feeds directly on it.
  5. Pathogen: These are micro-organisms that can cause diseases in plants and animals, leading to their reduction through death.
  6. Mortality is the death rate of organisms (plants or animals) in an environment.
  7. Migration: This is the movement of organisms into a new habitat (immigration) or cutting off a habitat (emigration).
  8. Dispersal: Dispersal is the spreading of new individuals from their parents to new habitats to start a new life in a new environment.
  9. Natality: This is the rate of giving birth to new offspring.
  10. Food: Food availability in a habitat generally leads to an increased population, while lack of food leads to starvation and death.
  11. Diseases: Diseases are known to reduce the population of organisms (both plants and animals) in any habitat.
  12. Pests: Pests are also known to affect the performance of plants in terms of yield and growth.
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Abiotic Factors

The abiotic factors comprise the following:

  1. Climatic Factors: Temperature, rainfall, wind, pressure, sunlight or sunshine, humidity, etc.
  2. Chemical Factors: Oxygen, carbon dioxide, mineral salts, water, and nitrogen.
  3. Edaphic Factors: These consist of soil, its water, chemical, and physical composition, its pH, its nutrients, profile, structure, and texture.
  4. Topographic Factors: These are caused by the shape of the earth’s surface, e.g., the Effects of rivers, hills, mountains, and valleys.
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