The biodiversity and distribution of organisms within an ecosystem is due to both abiotic (non-living) and biotic (living) factors.
Abiotic factors are non-living variables that can influence where organisms can live.
Examples of abiotic factors include:
Abiotic factors can all be measured to show the living conditions in an ecosystem.
Light meters can be used to measure light intensity. The meter is held at the soil surface and pointed in the direction of the maximum light intensity, and then the meter is read.
Errors can be made when measuring light intensity by accidentally shading the light meter. The reliability of the results can be checked by taking many samples.
Soil moisture and soil pH meters are also available. Both are used by simply pushing the probe into the soil and reading the meter.
Errors can be made when measuring pH and soil moisture when probes are not cleaned between readings. The reliability of the results can be checked by taking many samples.
The temperature of the air can be measured with a thermometer. The temperature of the soil can be measured with a temperature probe.