An ecosystem is a community or a group composed of biotic elements interacting with the abiotic elements. Ecology is the study of the interaction of the organisms in an area with their environment. The abiotic and biotic interactions maintain the equilibrium in the ecosystem. Let’s learn how biotic components adapt themselves with the changing abiotic components.
The components abiotic in an ecosystem includes all the physical and chemical elements, which means non-living components. These components can be different from region to region, from ecosystem to ecosystem. They mainly take up the role of life supporter. They determine and restrict the population growth, number, and diversity of biotic factors living in that ecosystem. Hence, they are called limiting factors.
However, these components are not consistent, they fluctuate drastically in time. This can create stressful conditions to the biotic elements of the ecosystem. The abiotic factors can influence the number and type of biotic components in an ecosystem. Hence, it is necessary to learn to adapt to changing environmental conditions.
Responses to Abiotic Factors
There are various ways in which organisms respond to the various abiotic components. They include the following:
- Regulate – It is the mechanism used by organisms to maintain a constant condition in the body. For example, humans have the ability to maintain homeostasis in terms of body temperature. Humans try to maintain a temperature of 37oC by sweating in hot weather and shivering in a cooler one.
- Conform – Most of the organisms do not have the ability to regulate their body condition and they have a fluctuating bodily condition as per the environment. They are called conformers.
- Migrate – Some organisms travel to far off places during a particular weather condition and return when the weather condition is restored. For example, birds from Siberia migrate to south during winter to avoid the cold weather.
- Suspend – Some organisms have different mechanisms to escape harsh environment like that of spore formation. A bear going to hibernation during winter is another example.