Ecology is a branch of science concerned with the interrelationship of organisms and their environments. To understand ecology, one must first examine the numerous levels of biological organization. From neutrons and protons to the great biosphere, each level plays a distinct role in the lives or organisms. The first level is of the subatomic particles: protons, neutrons, and electrons. Protons, located in the nucleus, have an electrical charge, and neutrons, also located in the nucleus have no charge. Electrons have a negative electrical charge. An important concept is that electrons can carry and release energy. These three subatomic particles make up an atom. An atom is the smallest unit of matter that has the chemical properties of a particular chemical element. In turn, elements are made up of atoms. One of the most common and important atoms is carbon, which is the basis of an organic compound.
Atoms make up the small molecules that are the small building blocks from which larger molecules are made.
Molecules are two or more elements chemically combined and a compound is two or more different elements chemically combined. Some of these important compounds include nucleic acids, carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins. Some of these smaller molecules have other functions than as building blocks.
Organelles (little organs) are the next level, which are specialized structures inside of a cell and are made up of molecules. The organelles of a plant, including the cell membrane, ribosome, cell wall, mitochondria, and chloroplast are all made up of cells. The cell is the smallest unit of biological organization that biologists consider alive. It serves as the unit of structure and function of all living things. Cells play a vital role in the levels of organization. Cells make up tissue, a group of distinct and similar cells that...