Organizational Hierarchy in Biology

Activity 8.3.2 –Identifying the levels of organization

When addressing a letter, the sender identifies the recipient’s first name, last name, street number, street name, city, state, zip code and country. This information uniquely specifies the recipient out of more than six billion people in the world. Table 8.6 illustrates a similar method of identifying the position of an item such as a textbook, which could be located anywhere in the world. For example, one could identify a specific book by saying it is the biology book on the third desk, in the fifth row,of the second room, on the east hall of the north wing, of the third floor,of the science building, on the CSUN campus, in the community of Northridge, in the cityof Los Angeles, in the county of Los Angeles, of the state of California, in the country of the United States, on the continent of North America, located in the Western Hemisphere, of the planet Earth. The sequence of levels listed (book, desk, row, room, hall, wing, floor, building, campus, community, city, county, state, country, continent, hemisphere, planet) represents an organizational hierarchy analogous to the biological hierarchy (fundamental particles, subatomic particles, atoms, micromolecules, macromolecules, molecular assemblies, organelles, cells, tissues, organs, organ systems, organisms, populations, communities, ecosystems, biomes, biosphere) as shown in table 8.6. For the terms that follow, identify the appropriate level of organization by placing the term in the correct cell.

Set 1: alpine, brain, carbon, Earth, fatty acid, gray matter, lipid, marmot, meadow, nervous system, neuron, nuclear membrane, nucleus, protons, quark
,tundra, Tuolumne pack

Set 2: chloroplast, deciduous forest, Earth, glycine, leaf, maple tree, neutrons, nitrogen, Ohio hardwood forests, palisade, parenchyma, plasmalemma, protein, quark, riparian, stand, vegetative system.

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