5 Characteristics of Abiotic Factors

Abiotic factors are non-living components that influence the life of living beings present in the ecosystem. Through abiotic factors, living beings make adjustments for their development. These factors vary from place to place, which determines a wide variety of environments.

Characteristics Abiotic Factors

Some of its features Abiotic Factors are:

  1. They are physical and chemical elements: Abiotic factors include elements such as temperature, humidity, light, soil, solar radiation and air.
  2. Are they constant or variable: Some abiotic factors, such as gravity, are constant and always have the same value. Others, such as temperature, can vary in different places and at different times of the day or year.
  3. They can be beneficial or harmful: Abiotic factors can be beneficial to living beings, such as sunlight, which is necessary for plant photosynthesis. Other abiotic factors, such as extreme heat or drought, can be harmful to living things.
  4. They influence the distribution of living beings: Abiotic factors can determine where living beings can live and how they are distributed. For example, some animals can only live in places with certain temperature or humidity conditions.
  5. They can be modified by human activity: Many abiotic factors can be modified by human activity, such as deforestation, urbanization and pollution. These changes can have negative effects on the lives of living beings.

Examples of abiotic factors


It is an abiotic factor of great importance for living beings and influences their periods of activity, their morphological characteristics and their behaviors.

Classify living beings into some groups such as:

  • Stenothermic: they are organisms that do not tolerate large thermal variations. Example: the lizard.
  • Eurythermic: they are organisms capable of tolerating large thermal variations. Example: the wolf.
  • Homeothermic: living beings that have a constant body temperature. Example: birds and mammals.
  • Poikilothermic: living beings that have variable body temperatures. Example: reptiles, amphibians and fish.
  • Some phenomena occur due to adaptations to unfavorable temperatures such as:
  • Migration: animals travel varied distances in search of environments conducive to reproduction, with better climatic conditions and the presence of food. Example: flamingos, black stork.
  • Hibernation: animals reduce their vital activities due to the cold. Example: bat, bear.
  • Aestivation: in this phenomenon, some species reduce their vital activities due to the heat. Example: turtles.
  • Regarding the adaptations of plants to low temperatures, it could be: the bean plant.
  • Biennials: biennial plants lose their aerial part in low temperatures, however they maintain their underground part. Example: the lily.
  • Perennials or perennials: these plants manage to maintain their structures all year round. Example: the poppy.


  • Water is vitally important for all living beings and is essential for life.
  • Living beings are classified, depending on water, into:
  • Hydrophiles: they are living beings that live permanently in water, such as fish.
  • Hygrophytes: living beings that only live in humid environments. Example: amphibians.
  • Mesophiles: are those living beings that live in more or less humid areas.
  • Xerophiles: are those that live in dry environments, such as desert mammals , lichens, cacti.
  • Tropophytes: are all those living beings that support a large variation in humidity.


Fundamental in the process of photosynthesis and responsible for productivity in ecosystems, light is an important abiotic factor and acts in various ways (intensity, radiation, direction and duration).

Classify living beings into some groups such as:

  • Euryphotic: they are living beings that tolerate large variations in light.
  • Stenophotics: living beings that cannot tolerate large variations in light.
  • Umbrophyte plants: they are vegetables that adapt to shade.


According to pressure, living beings are divided into:

  • Eurybaric: they are living beings capable of withstanding large variations in pressure.
  • Stenobaric: they are living beings that are unable to withstand large variations in pressure.


It is a primary abiotic factor in the distribution of aquatic living beings . These are classified into:

  • Euryalines: are those living beings that can withstand large variations in salinity.
  • Stenoaline: these are those that cannot withstand large variations in salinity.
  • Halophytes: they are plants that live in areas that contain a lot of salt.