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:
= all ecosystems
= consists of all organisms living in a particular area, as well as the nonliving, physical components of the environment
= consists of various populations of organisms living together in a given area
= a group of organisms of the same species in any given area.
= 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.
= consists of different organs that work together for a specific function.
= consists of different tissues that function together to do a certain job
= consists of similar cells that work together
= the smallest unit of life that is able to carry out all the functions of living things
= consists of different atoms. For example, DNA, within DNA there are oxygen atoms and different proteins.
= 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
"Levels of Organization" Online Image. Chapter 16 Section 1 What is an Ecosystem?
. 6 Oct. 2008