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Biological Organization

Essay by   •  March 17, 2012  •  Essay  •  258 Words (2 Pages)  •  2,574 Views

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The hierarchy of biological organization begins with the atom and increases in size, complexity and interdependence until the top is reached at the ecosphere level. Atoms, the building blocks for all living and non-living things, eventually combines with other atoms to form cells which really are the living building blocks for all of life.

A straight forward example of this hierarchy would be the distinction between a monad and a plant such as a tree. The single celled organism carries out all necessary life giving activities from energy production to reproduction. A tree is a much more complex organism, requiring the specialization of such cells. Where the monad is a singular self reliant entity, the tree depends on co-operation between millions of individual cells banded together to form different functioning systems. The systems include the root system, vascular system and respiratory system. The more complex the organism the higher up the organizational chart and the more specialized the organ systems.

The phrase "the whole is greater than the sum of its parts", emergent properties, and synergy all explain the phenomenon that when two things are brought together, interact with each other or combine themselves the action produces more than what each thing would achieve alone. In the case of our tree the root and leaf system act together to gather all the required nutrients leaving other cellular systems free to concentrate on protecting the tree from disease. Our single celled organism must rely on it own abilities for all it's needs. Both systems have advantages and disadvantages.

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