Abiotic components of the environment consist of soil, water and air. The climatic factors like sunlight, temperature, rainfall, humidity, etc., are also a part of the Abiotic environment.
The uppermost layer of the Earth’s crust is called soil. It forms when rock is worn down by wind and rain, broken up by plant roots and enriched by dead leaves.
Soils consist of three parts:
- Mineral fragments
- The remains of dead plants and animals
- Animals still living
Soil is a medium that supports the growth of plants. It contains water and minerals which plants take in with the help of roots. As plants are the basis of the food chains in most ecosystems, soil is an important constituent of the Abiotic environment.
If we dig deep into the ground, we will find that each layer of soil is different. Top layer of soil is dark in color. Plants grow in the dark-colored layer of soil. This is called the topsoil.
Air has oxygen in it no organisms can survive without oxygen. Plants produce oxygen during photosynthesis.
Animals and human beings take in oxygen and give out carbon dioxide. Thus a balance between oxygen and carbon dioxide is maintained. Fast blowing air is called wind. Winds ca cause heavy damage. But it can also help in the dispersal of seeds. Plants depend on wind for pollination. Wind also helps in dispersal of seeds.
It is one of the commonest of all substances. It primary source is rainfall. Without it, life is impossible. The Earth is made up two-thirds water and even our body is made up of two-thirds of water. Dissolved oxygen in water enables animals and plants to live in it. Fish absorb oxygen from water as it passes over their gills.
Plants take up water from the soil. Farmers have to water their crops at regular intervals. Our plants have a fixed amount of water. Hence, we should use it carefully. We should never waste water.
Light helps plants to grow their food. Plants make food by the process of photosynthesis.
Temperature is defined as the measure of the degree of hotness. The temperature of a place keeps on changing. It can be measured by a thermometer. The range of temperature at a place controls the distribution of animals. Some animals and plants can survive in hot places and some in cold places.
Camels can tolerate high temperatures of deserts. Similarly cacti can live in deserts. Cacti store water in their stems. They have leaves which have been modified to form spines which help them to reduce water loss. Some animals like snakes, frogs and lizards become less active in winter. This is called hibernation.