Biotic Factors Examples
Biotic factors affect populations of organisms. This is a term that is used in the study of ecology. The word root "bio-" means life, therefore a biotic factor is any activity of a living organism that affects another living organism within its environment. Biotic factors within a community can affect the populations of organisms but are also essential to the balance of life within the ecosystem.
1. Competition for food is an example of a biotic factor in an ecosystem. A red squirrel and a grey squirrel living in the same habitat will compete for the same food source.
2. Predator-prey relationships are examples of biotic factors. When the moose population is high on Isle Royale, the wolves have more food source from preying on the moose. This supports an increase in the wolf population.
3. Parasitism is a biotic factor that can affect populations. Parasitism is when an organism lives off of a host organism and causes that host harm. The Ascaris roundworm is a parasite that lives in pigs. It relies on the pigs digestive tract for food and reproduction but causes the pig illness.
4. Disease is a biotic factor that can affect populations. The influenza outbreak of 1918 caused between 20 and 40 million human deaths, more people died of this than World War I.
5. Herbivory is a biotic factor that can affect plant populations. Certain insects can devastate entire plant populations affecting the food supply for other organisms.