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 which can influence living organisms or cause changes in any habitat, be it aquatic or terrestrial habitat.
Categories Of Classification Of Ecological Factors
Ecological factors are grouped into two categories:
1. Biotic Factors
2. Abiotic Factors
1. Biotic Factors
The biotic factors are made up of 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 species or different species in which one outgrows the other and survives while the other cannot 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 a type of 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 which can cause diseases in plants and animals leading to their reduction through death.
6. Mortality: Mortality is the death rate of organisms (plants or animals) in an environment.
7. Migration: This is the movement of organisms either into a new habitat (immigration) or cut of a habitat (emigration).
8. Dispersal: Dispersal is the spreading of new individuals from their parents to new habitat so as to start a new life in the new environment.
9. Natality: This is the rate of giving birth to new offspring.
10. Food: Availability of food in a habitat generally leads to increase in 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 or yield and grow.
2. Abiotic Factors
The abiotic factors comprise the following:
1. Climatic Factors: These are temperature, rainfall, wind, pressure, sunlight or sunshine, humidity, etc.
2. Chemical Factors: These are made up of 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 as a result of the shape of the earth’s surface, e.g. Effects of rivers, hills, mountains and valleys.