In this article we will discuss about the supply of inorganic substances for the maintenance of living matter from the abiotic components of biosphere.
The entire global environment is basically made of abiotic (non-living) and biotic (living) components. These components together constitute the biosphere or ecosphere.
Biosphere is, therefore, defined as that part of the globe where life exists. The abiotic global environment is composed of the atmosphere (air), the lithosphere (earth) and the hydrosphere (water), and the biotic component is made of various forms of life inhabiting in the abiotic environment.
However, so far it is known, life exists only on the planet we live, i.e., the earth. Life exists only on earth because it possesses all the physical conditions essential for sustaining life; earth too, possesses only certain areas having optimal conditions for the sustenance of life, and also all types of environmental conditions are not atmosphere favourable to all kinds of organisms, e.g., terrestrial animals like lion or tiger, etc., cannot live in water and aquatic fishes do not survive on land.
In fact, living organisms cannot survive without non-living environment around them and the maintenance of non-living environment also depends on its living counter-parts.
Biosphere is made of different types of ecosystem. It is, therefore, a biochemical system capable of capturing, converting, storing and utilizing the energy of sun.
Living organisms require inorganic metabolites like water, minerals, and oxygen, nitrogen and carbon dioxide, etc., for building and maintenance of lives. Living organisms obtain all such inorganic substances from the abiotic counter-parts of the biosphere (Fig. 12.1).