The environment includes the living and nonliving things that an organism interacts with or has an effect on it. Living elements that an organism interacts with are known as biotic elements: animals, plants, etc., abiotic elements are non-living which includes air, water, sunlight, etc. Studying the environment means studying the relationships among these various things. An example of interactions between non-living and living things is plants getting their minerals from the soil and making food using sunlight. Predation, an organism eating another, is an example of the interaction between living things.