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Biotic and Abiotic Factors

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Biotic and Abiotic Factors teacher's guide

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TEACHER'S GUIDE

  1. A. Introduce the ecological principles of biotic and abiotic factors
  2. B. Connect the principles to this case study about Baltimore streams.
Discussion

Key Idea: Ecosystems have a natural balance of abiotic and biotic factors.

Question: What is the definition of an ecosystem?
Answer:  An ecosystem is an area that includes all the interconnected living (biotic) and non-living (abiotic) components.

Question: In science we call living things biotic factors and the non-living things abiotic factors.  What are some abiotic and biotic factors in the Baltimore stream ecosystem?
Answer:  

  • Biotic: fish, plants, algae, bacteria
  • Abiotic: salt, water, rocks, sediment, trash

Ecosystems need a balance of both types of factors to be healthy. The ecosystems that we have been exploring are the fresh waterways around a city – in this case the city of Baltimore.

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