Biotic Factors Flashcards

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  • Make sure you understand the information on each card. If something’s unclear, click the link to the revision notes at the bottom of the page for more details.

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Note: We may include questions that have multiple correct answers. It’s useful to remember specific examples to understand these concepts better.

What are biotic factors?

Biotic factors are living elements that influence another organism or shape its environment, such as food availability, predators, new pathogens and competition.

How does food availability affect an organism’s survival and population?

A high abundance of food reduces competition for resources, increasing the chances of survival and successful reproduction, which leads to an increase in population.

What impact do predators have on an ecosystem?

Predators control the prey population size.

An increase in predators increases the likelihood of prey being caught, lowering their survival rate. In contrast, a decrease in predators lowers the likelihood of prey being caught, raising their survival rate.

How do new pathogens affect existing populations in an ecosystem?

New pathogens make existing populations vulnerable because they likely lack immunity or resistance, which can lead to the population being wiped out before developing immunity.

What happens when multiple species compete for the same resources?

The better-adapted species will outcompete the less-adapted species (LAS), reducing the LAS population until they can no longer breed successfully.

Give an example of competition between species and its outcome.

In a habitat with giraffes having different neck lengths, those with longer necks access food more easily and survive better. Shorter-necked giraffes struggle to access food, face starvation, and may eventually get wiped out, while longer-necked giraffes increase in number.

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