Biotic component

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Biotic components are the living things that shape an ecosystem. A biotic factor is any living component that affects another organism, including animals that consume the organism in question, and the living food that the organism consumes. Each biotic factor needs energy to do work and food for proper growth. Biotic factors include human influence.

Biotic components are contrasted to abiotic components, which are non-living components of an organism's environment, such as temperature, light, moisture, air currents, etc. Biotic components usually include:

  • Producers, i.e. autotrophs: e.g. plants, they convert the energy [from photosynthesis (the transfer of sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide into energy), or other sources such as hydrothermal vents] into food.
  • Consumers, i.e. heterotrophs: e.g. animals, they depend upon producers (occasionally other consumers) for food.
  • Decomposers, i.e. detritivores: e.g. fungi and bacteria, they break down chemicals from producers and consumers (usually dead) into simpler form which can be reused.

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