Biotic factors are living things, which affect other organisms that are also living in an ecosystem. This includes all of plants, animals, bacteria, parasites, and fungi that may live in an environment. Those that truly are important to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park are the plants and animals. The plants are significantly important because they are the primary producers for the park, which allows for all of the animals to be able to survive in the park. Biotic factors are not just animals living in an ecosystem, but also the population density, distribution, and biodiversity. Biodiversity is important to the environment, because organisms only consume certain other organisms, so if there was not biodiversity all of the organism that consumed the same organism would be forced to live in the same area. This would cause the organism that is being consumed to have a drastically decreased population, which would in turn cause the entire populations to decrease drastically or have to move on.
Abiotic factors are non-living things, which affect the living organisms of an ecosystem. They can determine whether or not a certain area is suitable to sustain life. A key abiotic factor is elevation. This is because not only does it determine whether or not a plant or animal can survive there, it also determines other abiotic factors as well. This is critical in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, because there is a very large range of elevations in the park, which can cause very different environments in its extremes. At high elevations the temperature and the soil quality, which are both abiotic factors of their own, are lower. This makes very high elevations in the park inhospitable to sustaining life. The difference between the elevations is enough that in the winter it will snow at higher elevations, while it will not snow ever, except for rare occurrences. For the most part everything that is true for high elevations, the opposite is true for lower elevations. The temperatures are warmer, the soil has more nutrients, and life is sustained. Abitoic factors are critical to the life of nearly all plants and many different animals.