The notion of abiotic is used in the field of biology to make mention of the environment that, due to its characteristics, cannot harbor any form of life. The term allows us to name what is opposed to the biotic and what cannot be included within the group of living beings or their products. It should be noted that the letter a in front of a word indicates negation and, as the term biotic defines the presence of life, abiotic refers to the opposite.
Various chemical and physical elements of the environment cause abiotic factors to emerge, while biotics arise from living organisms and their creations. This means that the sun, air and water, among others, belong to the first group.
The important thing is to keep in mind that biotic factors are related to abiotics in order to survive. For example: a sheep (biotic) needs air (abiotic) and water (abiotic), among many other things, to live. A vegetable, meanwhile, also needs air to develop photosynthesis and water and soil with various nutrients.
The abiotic components, on the other hand, are responsible for the configuration of the so-called biotope (bios = life and moles = place), a space with favorable conditions for the development of life; it is also called habitat. Instead, biotic components give rise to biocenosis, grouping of various species that share life in the same space or habitat.
The biotope is the physical place that allows the development of biocenosis. Experts divide it into hydrotope (hydrographic resources), edafotopo (composed of land) and climatopo (weather conditions); Together they allow the creation of a space where living organisms can subsist and reproduce, to ensure the survival of their species.
If any of these resources were scarce, an imbalance in the harmony of the ecosystem could be generated. This is what is happening with global warming, as the continental ice melts; the life of many species is endangered because the place that previously allowed them to develop and last becomes inhospitable. Polar bears, for example, have less and less space to live and slowly perish because of it.
It should be noted that abiotic evolution or abiogenesis, finally, is a doctrine formed by various theories that affirm that life can be formed from materials that are not living. The notion was coined by the British Thomas Huxley (1825 – 1895) in 1870, as opposed to the idea of biogenesis.
Both terms refer to the origin of life from opposite positions: biogenesis affirms that life can only originate from organic matter, from elements that at some point have been alive, while abiogenesis indicates that it can also arise from inorganic matter..
These two theories are in constant contradiction and the scientists of each doctrine carry out tests to demonstrate their position and to discredit the opposite doctrine. For the moment, the most accurate could be biogenesis, as it is believed that it is practically impossible for life to arise from an element that lacks it.
As various studies on the origin of the Universe have revealed, it can be said that all living organisms can only arise from germs of the same type and, therefore, never from inorganic matter. This leads us to affirm that the abiotic elements alone cannot produce life; they can favor their development because, as we have said previously, it is not possible for living organisms to subsist if they lack the essential elements of growth: oxygen and water.