Abiotic Components of Environment:
The abiotic or non-living components include the climatic and edaphic factors. The climatic factors include temperature, humidity, rain, snowfall, etc. The edaphic factors comprise the soil and substratum. The ability of organisms to utilize, tolerate, or combat the various abiotic factors is different and it may limit their distribution, behavior, and relationship with other organisms. Some of the most important abiotic factors are given below:
(1) Background- The background of the habitat also determines the distribution of animals by enabling them to camouflage against the color, general texture, and patterns. For example, desert animals like the lion and the camel are sand colored.
(2) Humidity- It is the amount of water vapors present in the atmosphere. Humidity regulates the rate at which water evaporates from the body surface of land organisms by transpiration, perspiration, and other means. Different plants and animals show various adaptations to withstand dry conditions.
(3) Light- It is essential for photosynthetic organisms for the preparation of food on which the rest of the living world depends. Plants show various adaptations for obtaining optimum light. The activities of a large number of organisms are regulated by light. For example, cockroaches, moths, and bats are active during the night.
(4) Mineral Elements- A large number of minerals are required by organisms for their proper growth. Deficiency or absence of any one results in abnormal growth which may lead to death. High concentrations of minerals are equally harmful and can limit the distribution of organisms.
(5) Temperature- Living organisms can survive only in a narrow range of temperatures which allows their metabolism. Living organisms develop physiological and behavioral adaptations to withstand extremes of temperature. Many animals (such as birds and mammals) migrate to warmer places in winter to avoid extreme cold. Some desert animals live inside burrows to avoid the intense heat of the desert.
(6) Water- It is an essential requirement of life. No life can exist without water. The requirement of water varies from organism to organism. The distribution of organisms depends upon the extent of the need and special adaptations for conserving water.
(7) Wind- It determines the weather conditions. It helps in the dispersal of seeds and fruits of many plants.