Abiotic Stressors

Abiotic stressors may include light intensity, temperature range, pH level (acidity or alkalinity), water availability, dissolved gases, nutrient availability, radiation level, heavy metal contamination, etc. They are nonliving, physical, and chemical factors which could affect an entity from the molecular level to an entire ecosystem level. For example, too much light has the ability to interfere with an organism's survival and reproduction. This could lead to responses observed at individual organism level through population to community and to an entire ecosystem level. Abiotic stressors may vary in a given environment and may contribute in the determination of the types and numbers of organisms present in that environment. A major abiotic stressor that has attracted the interest of environmental scientists is the amount and nature of chemical contaminants in environmental media - soil, water, and air.

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