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The biophysical environment


 

3) The biophysical environment is the symbiosis between the physcial environment and the biological life forms within the environment, and includes all variables that comprise the Earth’s biosphere.

 

The biophysical environment can be divided into two categories: the natural environment and the built environment with some overlap between the two. Following the industrial revolution the built environment has become an increasingly significant part of the Earth's environment. 

 

The scope of the biophysical environment is all that contained in the biosphere, which is that part of the Earth in which all life occurs. A biophysical environment is the complex of biotic, climatic, and edaphic factors that act upon an organism and determine its form and survival, and morphs itself in the process.

 

Ecosystems, of which there are numerous types and are a defined part of the biosphere, collectively make up the whole of the biosphere. Within an ecosystem there are habitats in which an organism including human beings exists.

 

At its most natural state, an environment would lack any effects of human activity, although the scale of this activity is such that all areas of the Earth have had at least some influence by humans.

 

At the other end of the scale is the built environment and in some cases it has the biotic component that is virtually absent.

 

The biophysical environment can vary in scale from microscopic to global in extent. They can also be subdivided according to their attributes. Some examples may be the Marine environment, the atmospheric environment and the terrestrial environment.