noun, plural: abiotic factors
A non-living chemical or physical factor in the environment, such as soil, pH, forest fire, etc.
Abiotic factors may be grouped into the following main categories:
- climatic factors – include sunlight, humidity, temperature, atmosphere, etc.
- edaphic factors – include the nature and type of the soil, geology of the land, etc.
- social factors – include land use, water resources, etc.
Abiotic factors are further investigated in the freshwater ecology tutorial.
Word origin: a- meaning “not,” “without” + biotic: Gk biōtikós of, pertaining to life; factor: late ME facto(u)r < L factor maker, perpetrator. Compare: biotic factor.