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Defining Abiotic vs Biotic Stress
Damage produced via abiotic (non-living) issues are generally recognizable and widespread. Damage will generally appear on all leaves of a certain age, like all leaves forming the canopy at the time a toxic spray was applied. Damage will likely appear on more than one variety of plant and over a fairly large area. For example, if a fan is blowing too hard on a specific area, all plants in the area will be affected.
Damage produced via biotic (living) issues, such as pathogens or pests, generally results from them using the plant as a food source. These pests are rather specific in their habits and don’t initially produce widespread damage patterns. Damage may be greatest on, or limited to, one plant variety and will spread with time with. Rarely will 100% of plants be affected at one time.