The key difference between climatic and edaphic factors is that climatic factors affect the climate around the world, while edaphic factors are related to the structure and composition of the soil.
Ecological factors are the factors that affect an ecosystem and its biotic and abiotic components. Ecological factors influence living organisms. Biotic factors include competition, predation, parasitism, etc. There are two types of abiotic factors as climatic factors and edaphic factors. Climatic factors are the factors that affect the climate. They include mean temperature, humidity of the air, air pressure, sunlight, etc. Edaphic factors, on the other hand, are related to the structure and composition of the soil. They explain the chemical and physical components of the soil.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What are the Climatic Factors
3. What are the Edaphic Factors
4. Similarities Between Climatic and Edaphic Factors
5. Side by Side Comparison – Climatic vs Edaphic Factors in Tabular Form
What are the Climatic Factors?
Climatic factors are the factors that affect the climate. Therefore, these factors influence the weather and weather conditions. Climatic factors include temperature, sunlight, humidity in the air, pressure in the air, radiation and ionization in the air, evaporation, condensation, and precipitation, chemical components of water and atmosphere.
Generally, climatic factors do not change. They are stable. Sometimes, they can show slight changes. But vegetation cover or land use show comparatively high variations. Temperature generally promotes trees with large diameter and biomass. But potential evapotranspiration, clay and sand contents decrease the aboveground biomass of trees. Temperature can decrease species richness. In contrast, precipitation increases species richness. Likewise, climatic factors influence the living organisms in the ecosystems. Multiple climatic factors affect forest structural attributes, diversity and biomass. Hence, climatic factors are very important in determining what plant species should grow in that particular region and where they would be growing best.
What are Edaphic Factors?
Soil is a very complex medium. It is the foundation of all terrestrial ecosystems. It is the habitat of plants, animals and microorganisms. Soil is rich in organic matter and other types of macro and micronutrients. Soil profile varies from place to place, and the profile depends on the climate, vegetation, and parent rock. Edaphic factors are a type of abiotic factors. They are related to the structure and composition of the soil.
Edaphic factors include soil type and structure, soil pH and salinity, soil temperature, soil moisture, organic carbon and nitrogen content, heavy metal content, etc. Therefore, edaphic factors reveal chemical and physical components and properties of soil. They influence the species composition of soil microbial communities and their activity and functionality. In other words, edaphic factors influence the microbiological biodiversity of the soil environment.
What are the Similarities Between Climatic and Edaphic Factors?
- Both climatic and edaphic factors are abiotic ecological factors.
- They do not have any property of life.
- These two types of factors affect the biotic components of the ecosystem.
- Both climatic and edaphic factors are important in determining where a particular species will grow.
What is the Difference Between Climatic and Edaphic Factors?
Climatic factors are the factors that affect climate around the world, while edaphic factors are the soil properties that affect the diversity of organisms living in the soil environment. So, this is the key difference between climatic and edaphic factors. Furthermore, climatic factors are related to air and water, while edaphic factors are related to soil structure and composition. Temperature, sunlight, humidity in the air, pressure in the air, radiation and ionization in the air, chemical components of water and atmosphere are examples of climatic factors. Soil type and structure, soil pH and salinity, soil temperature, soil moisture, organic carbon and nitrogen content, heavy metal content, etc. are examples of edaphic factors.
Below is a summary of the difference between climatic and edaphic factors in tabular form.
Summary – Climatic vs Edaphic Factors
Climatic factors affect the climate around the world. Air temperature, humidity and precipitation, incoming and outgoing radiation, and air movements and winds are the main climatic factors that influence living organisms, mainly humans. Edaphic factors are factors related to soil physical and chemical components. They include soil type and structure, soil pH and salinity, soil temperature, soil moisture, organic carbon and nitrogen content, heavy metal content, etc. Both climatic and edaphic greatly affect the activity of microbial communities and the breakdown of organic matter in soil aggregates. Thus, this summarizes the difference between climatic and edaphic factors.
1. “Climatic Factors.” Climatic Factors – an Overview | ScienceDirect Topics, Available here.
2. Clark, Ian M., et al. “Edaphic Factors and Plants Influence Denitrification in Soils from a Long-Term Arable Experiment.” Nature News, Nature Publishing Group, 29 Sept. 2020, Available here.
1. “Climate Change Attribution” By Robert A. Rohde – This figure was created by Robert A. Rohde from published data (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “SOIL PROFILE” By Hridith Sudev Nambiar (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia