Environmental factors

An organism’s surroundings (abiotic and biotic factors) can influence its distribution.

Abiotic (non-living) factors

Holding up an anemometer in the wind.

Wind speed

Wind speed is measured with an anemometer. It affects the rate of water loss by plants and therefore affects their survival rates in exposed areas.

Biotic (living) factors

Other plants and animals can affect the distribution of an organism.

The effect of a predator on its prey is one example. If predator numbers are high, prey numbers will decrease.

Another example is competition for food - if there is not enough food the death of one organism can occur.

Biotic factors are much more difficult to measure than abiotic.