The word “Environment” is derived from the French word “Environeer that means to encircle or surround.
All the biological and non-biological things surrounding an organism are thus included in environment.
Environment can be defined as :
External surroundings and conditions which directly or indirectly affects the living organism
It can be also defined as :
Environment is sum total of water, air and land, interrelationship among themselves and also with human beings, other living organisms and property
Environment is usually divided into two parts :
Biotic environment is made up of all living organisms (plants, animals & microorganisms) including their reactions, interactions and interrelated actions.
Abiotic Environment or physical environment: It is composed of external physical factors like temperature, humidity, water, soil, minerals, gases etc. It provides both habitation and raw materials for the synthesis of organic food.
These biotic and abiotic components are in a dynamic state i.e they constantly affect each other and cannot be isolated from each other.
Any constituents of the environment which directly or indirectly affects the growth and development of an organism is called environmen. tal or ecological factor.
Example of environmental factors are climatic factors, topographic factors, biotic factors, fire, edaphic (related to soil) factors.