We explain the organizational level example. In Ecology, the Levels of organization describe how organisms are related to each other and to the environment , forming interactions that favor life.
The different levels of organization of the biological spectrum have been considered by the ecologist Odum as biological systems. When biotic components (organisms) and abiotic components interact with each other, through an exchange of matter and energy, a functional biological system is produced.
Each biotic component, that is, each organism, represents a level of organization with its own characteristics and functions . Each level of organization is a different system with interactions that cannot be predicted or known through the knowledge of another level.
Therefore, ecologists treat systems: individual, population, community, ecosystem, and biosphere as levels of hierarchy.
Thus, the levels of organization are named as: Individual, Population, Community and Ecosystem.
The individual is an organism that is physiologically independent of another individual . At the individual level, it is about understanding how an organism survives under changing physical-chemical conditions and how the individual behaves to reproduce, avoid predators and locate food.
A large number of individuals of the same species are found in a biotope and are known as a population . All the plants, microorganisms and animals in a community interact in different ways (competition for food, for places of reproduction, etc.).
A Population is a group of organisms of the same species , which respond to the same environmental factors and mix freely with each other .
At the population level, you want to know what the size of the population should be to ensure that enough offspring are produced to allow the population to continue and persist. It is also important to know if there is enough genetic variability in the population to allow evolutionary adaptation to environmental changes.
A species is a population or group of populations that are genetically isolated from other species. Although ecology does not include the hierarchy level of the species as it is , it is necessary to study the species to understand the evolution of ecosystems in the long term.
A Community is a group of Populations of different species that live in the same place or biotope. At the community level, the aim is to study the interspecific interactions that would be capable of causing changes in the size of the populations of the species that coexist in a biotope.
This is the case of a predator population that could overexploit a prey species and then decline abruptly. In another example, an introduced species might be more efficient in using a limited resource and reduce the opportunity of native species, whose population would decline rapidly.
When the community is considered together with the abiotic environment, it is the ecosystem. All the ecosystems on planet earth make up the biosphere .
The ecosystem is the basic unit of interaction between organisms and the environment, which results from the complex relationships between living and inanimate elements in a given area. At the ecosystem level, the marine currents, the reproductive time of the species and any fact or factor that explains the total structure of an ecosystem are studied.
It is convenient to divide the living world into different ecosystems, however any investigation reveals that there are seldom defined boundaries between them and that they are never completely isolated. Many species are part of two or more ecosystems at the same time, or move from one to another, as is the case with migratory birds.
Ecosystems gradually overlap in a transition region known as the ecotone. Many characteristic species from two adjacent ecosystems are present here.
The study of the relationships of all organisms and their environment is known as Synecology . Studies in this branch of Ecology are of great importance for agriculture, forestry development, landscape planning, and environmental protection.
The biosphere is the set of living beings on earth and the environment in which they interact . The biosphere concept may be very abstract, but it has recently been understood that interactions at the biosphere level can be crucial to human well-being.
This is the case of the amount of carbon on earth, which depends on: forest areas, the combustion of fossil materials, the amount of photosynthesis and the circulation in the oceans. An excess of Carbon Dioxide CO 2 has been added to the atmosphere , the excess of CO 2 can trap heat and cause a global change in the climate.
Examples of Organization Levels
Plants, microorganisms, and animals in a community interact in competition for food.
Plants, microorganisms, and animals in a community interact in competition for breeding sites.
Many species are part of two or more ecosystems at the same time, or move from one to another, as is the case with migratory birds.
Salmon populations swim to waters that are adjusted to their survival conditions.
The term Ecosystem can be applied to highly variable biocenoses and environments, such as a tree, a forest or an ocean.
A large Community characterized by present plant and animal species is called a Biome .
The variety and variability between living organisms and the ecosystems in which they develop is called Biological Diversity .
The loss of Biodiversity is the process of diminishing diversity at the level of ecosystems, species or genes.
Some ecotones present peculiar conditions, which allow them to host plant and animal species different from those of the adjacent ecosystems.
The Ecosystem is considered in Ecology the functional unit, because it is a closed system for the flow of matter and because it includes, in addition to organisms, an abiotic environment, with an interrelation between both components.