Matrix 2: Biotic and Abiotic Factors
BI1.1 Observing Soil Samples
Materials: soil sample, jar with screw-on lid, water, metric ruler
Time: 10 minutes
Procedure: With a partner, put about 200 mL of soil into a jar, add water to about 3 cm from the top, and screw on the lid tightly. Shake the jar thoroughly to mix the soil and water and then place the jar on the desk. When the soil has settled, observe the layers of separated soil. Wash your hands after completing the activity.
Think It Over
Identify the materials that make up the soil.
Classify each material as biotic or abiotic.
Videos and Podcasts
The Role of Abiotic Factors (15:00)
Examine the role of non-living, abiotic factors and the role they play in shaping ecosystems. Five abiotic factors are examined: water, air, soil, heat, and light.
Ecosystems: Abiotic and Biotic Factors (2:48)
The place where an organism lives depends on the biotic and abiotic factors present in the environment. This clip compares several ecosystems. A swamp is described in terms of its biotic and abiotic factors.
Ecosystems and the Cycles of Nature (18:00)
Ecosystem communities may differ radically from one biome to another – from the rattlesnake, tortoise, and saguaro cactus of a southwestern desert, to the salamander, ferns, and mosses of a temperate rainforest. Four basic requirements for life – nutrients, energy, water, and an appropriate range of temperature – play a critical role in the life cycles and evolution of ecosystem communities.
Identify the living and nonliving things in an ecosystem. Then look further at the living things to identify the producers, the consumers, and examples of mimicry.
Learn the details the process of photosynthesis and its role in the oxygen/carbon dioxide cycle.