Even though freshwater biome constitutes mere 0.08 percent of the vast aquatic biome, it does play a crucial role in facilitating the existence of life on planet Earth. Basically, the aquatic biome is divided into two parts: (i) marine biome, which consists of saline water sources such as oceans, estuaries, etc., and (ii) freshwater biome, which consists of freshwater sources such as rivers, lakes, ponds, etc.
Both support a significant portion of flora and fauna present on the planet, and the fact that they play such an important role in the ecosystem can be attributed to the abiotic factors which make them suitable for various lifeforms.
What are Abiotic Factors?
In biology, abiotic components are the non-living components of the ecosystem which affect the living components which exist there. When any organism adapts to a new environment, it relies on the prevailing conditions for successful adaptation. There exist some physical and chemical attributes which influence the existence of various lifeforms in a given ecosystem; these attributes are referred to as the abiotic factors. These include sunlight, precipitation, altitude, etc., all of which play a crucial role in determining the presence of flora and fauna in the said ecosystem.
In stark contrast to these factors, which are associated with non-living attributes of the nature, are the biotic factors which are associated with living attributes. Basically, biotic factors refer to the influence of a particular plant or animal species on the other species existing in the ecosystem.
Abiotic Factors of the Freshwater Biome
The abiotic components of this biome are broadly categorized into two groups: (i) physical factors and (ii) chemical factors. Physical factors include the physical characteristic traits of freshwater ecosystem, such as the depth of water, amount of sunlight, and the amount of precipitation the water source is subjected to. The chemical factors, on the other hand, include chemical properties, like the pH level of water, pollutants in the water body, etc. Basically, organisms occupy water sources which have favorable conditions for them to inhabit. The list of favorable conditions in the freshwater sources is quite lengthy and includes some of the most prominent aspects of nature.
- The geographical location of the water source on the planet.
- The climatic conditions prevailing in the region.
- The temperature of the region where this water body is located.
- Seasonal changes in weather.
- The altitude at which the water body is situated.
- The depth of the water body and its connectivity with the other water sources.
- Whether the water is stagnant or in continuous flow.
- The angle at which sunlight hits the surface of the water body.
- The precipitation pattern of the region in which the water source is located.
- The pH level of water as well as the levels of pollution that the water body is subjected to.