How do living and nonliving things interact in the environment?


Living things like animals and plants can interact with the non-living environment, including the soil, climate and water, to cause effects on each other that can be positive, negative or neutral. For example, animals benefit from a non-living environment with plenty of water and air because these are essential for survival. If a living organism cannot adapt to its non-living surroundings (such as a lack of sunlight or too hot or cold temperature) or cannot get what it needs from these surroundings (such as water), then the living organism will have problems surviving and will thus be negatively affected.

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In addition, living organisms in an environment without sufficient non-living resources may have trouble getting what they need for survival due to competition for those resources.

Some examples on interactions between non-living and living things include plants getting their minerals from the soil and making food using sunlight, animals needing a specific temperature range for their body processes to function properly and sea creatures needing either saltwater or freshwater.

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