Environment and Its Components


According to a holistic Ecological approach everything which surrounds us is considered to be a part of our environment. 
It could be either a non-living  or a living thing based.  
We know that there are nine Planets, several meteorites, and satellites in our Solar system. 
Out of all the Planets, only the environment of the earth supports the life which is due to surrounding of the earth. 
These surroundings or environment is composed of both living and non-living components. 

The living components show interactions with other living components and also with non-living components as well.  
The physical components of our environment are Solar energy, soil, water and air which provide favourable conditions to living organisms and help in their existence and growth. 
On the other hand the Biological components of the environment are living system. 
Both of these components can interact with each other and form a stable self sustaining system.  

The living or biological components are also called as biotic components while non-living things are known as the abiotic components. 
Overall the interaction between living and non-living parts, their effects on each other and surrounding is known as environment. 

The entire living organisms have to interact with non living part of environment such as animals require green plants for food and oxygen while plants also need some pollination help for the dispersal of seeds and fruits which are basically done by the animals. 
So we should protect our environment by maintaining the biodiversity, and all gaseous or material cycles. 

We should maintain the interdependence of living organisms on each other and their interaction with the abiotic environments. We need to maintain the ecological order and natural balance as well. 

The balance of ecology depends upon the food chain relationship or food web which shows an interaction between various parts of environment with each other. 
The biological component indicates the various flora parts which are plants, fauna that is animals and microbes or micro organisms which are present in our surroundings. 
Overall environment can classify as physical, biological and cultural components. 
According to the British literature; there are only two components; biotic and abiotic part. 

The biotic components can again classify as Producers, Consumers and Decomposers. 
Similarly abiotic components are classified in two types; Climatic such as water, air and edaphic factors like land. 
According to the American literature; there are five components of our Environment; Hydrosphere, Atmosphere, Lithosphere, Biosphere and Anthrosphere. 
Hydrosphere denotes water bodies while Atmosphere represents the air and Lithosphere represents land. 

Let’s discuss about ecology and ecosystem. 
The branch of science which deals with the study of the inter-relationships between the organisms with environment is called as Ecosystem. 
We know that there are so many living and non-living things on earth surface which can show a large number of interactions with each other. 
The study of interactions organisms with environment and their effect on environment includes in ecology. 

It involves the collection of information related to organisms and their environment. 
We can consider the environmental science as ecology, which involves the study of a certain set of factors in a defined area known as ecosystem. This system can consider as the functional unit of dynamic system of organisms in which biotic and abiotic part interact with each other. 
Food chains and food webs are best examples of interactions of one component with other one. 

For example; green plants always act as producers which can produce sugar molecules or food materials in the presence of solar energy. 
These green plants can be consumed by herbivorous animals such as deer, cattle etc. 
Therefore, herbivorous animals act as consumers in the food chain. 
These herbivorous animals can be eaten by carnivorous animals such as lion which are secondary consumers of food chain. 


Best Results From Wikipedia Yahoo Answers Encyclopedia

From Wikipedia

Abiotic component

In biology, abiotic components are non-living chemical and physical factors in the environment. Abiotic phenomena underlie all of biology. Abiotic factors, while generally downplayed, can have enormous impact on evolution. Abiotic components are aspects of geodiversity.They can also be recognised as "abiotic pathogens"

From the viewpoint of biology, abiotic influences may be classified as light or more generally radiation, temperature, water, the chemical surrounding composed of the terrestrial atmospheric gases, as well as soil. The macroscopic climate often influences each of the above. Not to mention pressure and even sound waves if working with marine, or deep underground, biome.

Those underlying factors affect different plants, animals and fungi to different extents. Some plants are mostly water starved, so humidity plays a larger role in their biology. Many archaebacteria require very high temperatures, or pressures, or unusual concentrations of chemical substances such as sulfur, because of their specialization into extreme conditions. Certain fungi have evolved to survive mostly at the temperature, the humidity, and stability.

For example, there is a significant difference in access to water as well as humidity between temperate rainforests and deserts. This difference in water access causes a diversity in the types of plans and animals that grow in these areas.

Biotic component

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. 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 the sun, or other sources such as hydrothermal vents) into food.
  • Consumers, i.e. heterotrophs: e.g. animals; they depend upon producers for food.
  • Decomposers, i.e. detritivores: e.g. fungi and bacteria; they break down chemicals from producers and consumers into simpler form which can be reused.

From Encyclopedia

Environment Environment

The term "environment" means the surroundings of a living creature. It can also refer to all the factors of the external world that affect biological and social activities. There are abiotic (nonliving) environmental factors such as sunlight, air, and water. There are also biotic (living or recently living) environmental factors such as plants, animal predators, and food. The total environment of an organism is the sum total of the biotic and abiotic environments. The study of the relationships between living creatures and their environments is called ecology. A human's abiotic environment includes things such as weather (sun-light, wind, air temperature) and items which give protection from the weather (clothes or houses). Other abiotic factors are the soil and water, and chemicals in the soil and water. A human's biotic environment includes things such as food (plants and animals), other humans, animals, trees, and grasses. The biotic environment also includes how living creatures interact with each other and their abiotic environments. Therefore, a human's biotic environment also consists of social or cultural surroundings. Humans learn from each other how to behave in socially acceptable ways. They also pass along knowledge about language, science, and art. The major components of Earth's physical environment are the atmosphere, climate and weather, land, and bodies of water such as lakes, rivers, and oceans. The term "environment" is commonly associated with the impact that humans have made on the natural world. Increasing human population and industrial activities have led to problems associated with the pollution of air, water, and soil. Pollution has a negative impact on humans in terms of health and quality of life, as well as on other animals and plants. Human activities such as the dumping of industrial wastewater and poorly treated sewage water have led to the pollution of fresh and salt water. Groundwater, water beneath the land surface that often serves as drinking water for humans, has also been negatively affected. Accidental oil spills from ships and untreated storm-water runoff from urban and agricultural areas also degrade bodies of water. Air pollution results from human activities such as burning fossil fuels (oil, coal, and gasoline) to create electricity and power automobiles, and manufacturing industrial products such as chemicals and plastic. Burning fossil fuels releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, adding billions of extra tons of carbon to the natural carbon cycle. Deforestation and poor soil management also add carbon. Most scientists believe that the increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere contributes to the potentially devastating warming of the global climate, the so-called "greenhouse effect." Another human impact on the atmosphere has been depletion of the ozone layer. The ozone layer helps filter ultraviolet light and protects Earth's surface from harmful doses of radiation. Many scientists believe that chlorofluoro-carbons used as coolants in air conditioners and refrigeration units destroy ozone when released into the atmosphere. Land pollution is caused by poor agricultural practices, mining for coal and minerals, and dumping industrial and urban wastes. The widespread usage of pesticides has led to pollution of both soils and bodies of water. As more and more environmental problems become evident, humans will have to assess their activities and their impact on the natural world. see also Biome; Ecosystem; Habitat. Denise Prendergast

From Yahoo Answers

Question:A. all organisms B. all predators C. soil, water, and weather D. all organisms, soil, water, and weather I think it's "C" am I right?

Answers:C abiotic means "non living"

Question:A) saprotrophs. B) protozoa. C) primary producers. D) decomposers. E) All of the above I am doing a practice quiz and i thought it was E .. i was wrong.. any ideas?

Answers:I shud have thought it was E as well.. if its not, then its C -Primary producers:plants...


Answers:Transpiration from the leaves of plants have a cooling effect and raise the humidity levels within a forest. The leaves falling to the ground and decomposed increases the nutrient levels in the soil, improves water retention and helps insulate the soil against freezing temperatures. The tree canopy helps moderate the soil temperature and decreases the evaporation of water from the soil. The root systems of plants slows soil erosion from wind and water.

Question:I don't get the meaning of Homeostasis. Could you make it clearer? And please site examples. Also, please give the meaning of the following and make it clearer (if possible, give an example): 1.) Osmosis 2.) Passive Transport 3.) Active Transport 4.) Osmosis 5.) Dynamic Equilibrium 6.) Steady/Stable State (?) 7.) Solute 8.) Diffusion 9.) Hypotonic 10.) Hypertonic 11.) Isotonic 12.) Pressure Gradient 13.) Tissue Cultures It would be really thankful if you give me nice answers to ALL my questions. Thanks =)

Answers:1.) Osmosis -net movement of water from an area of high concentration to an area of low concentration. 2.) Passive Transport -when a substance enters the cell on the back of another substance. I.e. it gets a ride on the back of something. 3.) Active Transport -when a substance moves into the cell when the cell has a higher concentration of the substance than outside the cell. As such it IS energy requiring. 4.) Osmosis -refer to 1) 5.) Dynamic Equilibrium -when there is an equality between the inside and outside of the cell. 6.) Steady/Stable State (?) then the state is not volatile. 7.) Solute -the substance that is being dissolved. 8.) Diffusion -the net movement of a substance from and area of high concentration to an area of low concentration. 9.) Hypotonic -higher concentration outside the cell. 10.) Hypertonic -higher concentration inside the cell. 11.) Isotonic -equal concentration inside and outside the cell. 12.) Pressure Gradient -scale on which the pressure is measured. 13.) Tissue Cultures -tissue that has been grown in a lab.