Principles of Biology

Everyone disagrees on how many levels there really are. It can range anywhere from seventeen to nine different levels. For now, we are going to say that there are eleven levels of biological organization.


Levels of biological organization:

Biosphere= all ecosystems

Ecosystem= consists of all organisms living in a particular area, as well as the nonliving, physical components of the environment

Community= consists of various populations of organisms living together in a given area

Population= a group of organisms of the same species in any given area.

Organism= within a population there are organisms, just one of those organisms is called an organism. For example, within a population lions, there is a lion.

Organ system= consists of different organs that work together for a specific function.

Organ= consists of different tissues that function together to do a certain job

Tissue= consists of similar cells that work together

Cell= the smallest unit of life that is able to carry out all the functions of living things

Molecule= consists of different atoms. For example, DNA, within DNA there are oxygen atoms and different proteins.

Atom= the smallest unit of matter that has the chemical properties of a particular element.

These levels are all related to each other. For example, a biosphere contains all of the mentioned levels above. So, each level contains the level before it and they all fit into each other like Russian nesting dolls.

Knowing the difference between the levels is helpful because it makes it easier when comparing different things. When studying a lion with a disease, you can break the organism down into different parts and study the disease at these different levels.

This wasn't really part of our assignment but, when I was searching for information about biological organization, I found a website that talked about how these levels are “much too pat.” Sometimes, it is hard to differentiate what level certain things fit into. For example, in class we discussed what level your biceps muscle would be in. It is hard to decide because many would argue that it's just a tissue, while others think it's an organ because it performs a function.

The picture below shows the levels of organization. It is a little different than what we learned in class but, it seems like everyone has a different version on what they think is best.





"Levels of Organization." 2001. Online Image. Levels of Organization. 6 Oct. 2008
http://peer.tamu.edu/curriculum_modules/Cell_Biology/module_1/index.htm


"Levels of Organization" Online Image. Chapter 16 Section 1 What is an Ecosystem?. 6 Oct. 2008
http://peer.tamu.edu/curriculum_modules/Cell_Biology/module_1/index.htm

Views: 96922

Comment by Rachel Huntsman on October 7, 2008 at 4:39pm
I liked that you gave examples of different ideas of Biological Organization Erin. It allows you to see various view points, and shows that depending on how specific you get there can be many levels. There is a big difference between nine and seventeen. I liked the paragraph you had after you explained each level individually, when you said that all the levels are related and each contains the level before it. (The part about them being like Russian nesting dolls was a great comparison, and it made me laugh. ;-) I think the most important parts of this post would be, obviously, to understand each individual level and know what it is/does/contains, etc. It also important to know how each level affects the other levels and how they go together. Knowing there are different ideas on how to break apart the levels is important as well. (Reminds me of how animals can be classified in different ways!)
Comment by Abby Lucas on October 7, 2008 at 11:00pm
The pictures/diagrams that you gave are pretty awesome. It was interesting how you mentioned that there is some controvery concerning how to differentiate between some of the levels. I think the two main ideas would be defining the different levels, yet conecting them to each other at the same time.
Comment by Sean Nash on February 10, 2009 at 12:20pm
Hey- just so you know... I was doing some checking of the site's data through Google Analytics today, and this one single blog post has scored more than 800 hits. In fact, exactly 513 absolutely unique visitors from around the globe have used this page in some way. How crazy is that? What does that make you think?
Does that make you see the post in a new light? Does that make you possibly think differently about the next one?

I was just checking all class sites today and noticed that Principles of Biology I now being picked up really heavily within search engines for all kinds of biological topics.

Oh, but... these visitors are from only... 87 different countries.
;-)

*For this blog post:


*For the entire Principles of Biology site:

Comment by Sean Nash on April 2, 2009 at 10:26am
Well over 1000 hits on this post... still the most popular on the entire site.
;)
Comment by Erin McAndrews on April 2, 2009 at 6:23pm
That's strange.... lately I have really started to double check over what I write because now I realize that people from all over actually look at this. Crazy!
Comment by Ryne Relford on April 3, 2009 at 9:01am
The controversy over classes is surprising to me because I always just went with what our texts books have always said and never really thought of looking somewhere else.
Comment by Sean Nash on October 9, 2009 at 8:21am
This remains the most popular page on the entire website. You should be proud. Just over a year after writing it... there have been over 5,000 views! My last update above showed 805 views. That update was in February. Today, the data looks like this:


;)
Comment by Sean Nash on September 21, 2010 at 1:25pm
Today's stats for this blog post... 16,462 unique individual visitors with 287 yesterday alone. Still... the most popular page on the entire site. Considering the fact that this course is no longer offered at this school, and that no new "internal" traffic has been generated since last May... you'd think traffic would fall off. But no- this site is somehow experiencing a super high traffic rate that is increasing rapidly over time.

It is just so interesting to me that the content produced openly on this site for those two years continues... to be referenced, at least informally, hundreds or thousands of times each day.

Total site numbers from today... over 166,000 unique visitors from 180 countries in that time.

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Our work has certainly come a long way this year. In our short time working in this space (since only September 2009) we have attracted quite a bit of attention for our open approach to learning.  Your sharing, reflection and synthesis have earned two nominations for Edublogs awards in as many years.  Impressive is a good word.In the thread below, please reflect upon our use of free, open online tools to enhance our classroom this year. I'm always proud of how your work ends up being all about…See More
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Our work has certainly come a long way this year. In our short time working in this space (since only September 2009) we have attracted quite a bit of attention for our open approach to learning.  Your sharing, reflection and synthesis have earned two nominations for Edublogs awards in as many years.  Impressive is a good word.In the thread below, please reflect upon our use of free, open online tools to enhance our classroom this year. I'm always proud of how your work ends up being all about…See More
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