Individual in Biology – Concept, examples, population, community

We explain what an individual is in biology, some examples and their relationship with populations, communities and ecosystems.

individual biology tree
An individual is a single specimen of a species.

What is an individual in biology?

The individual it is an organism (unicellular or multicellular) capable of existing by itself in a given environment. The word individual comes from undivided which means “that cannot be divided” and refers to the being that is capable of performing all its vital functions and that is independent of its own species.

The individual is examined by Biology, a science that covers a wide field of study and that analyzes the components that determine a being, its molecular structure, development and evolution and interrelation with other beings.

Examples of individual, population and community

individuo poblacion comunidad
Image: ABC Color.

The individual has characteristics that differentiate it from other beings. Some examples of individual: a tiger, a hyena, a hummingbird, a dolphin, a walnut and an ombú.

Individuals are grouped with beings of the same species in a given space, which is called population. For example, a population of seals, one of humans, one of dogs, one of condors, one of walnut trees, one of ferns, etc.

The set of populations is called community, in which different groups of animals and plants coexist in the same territory. For example, in the same community a population of palm trees, one of parrots and one of pigeons can coexist, among hundreds of other populations.

A ecosystem It is the group of communities that interrelate in a geographic area with the elements considered “lifeless”, such as rocks, water, air, etc. Examples of ecosystems are a forest, a river, a mountain range, the sea, etc.

Community in biology

individual biology community bee mutualism
Different species can benefit from belonging to the same community.

A community is made up of many different populations that need to interrelate for biological reasons. In the case of the human being, in addition, it needs to be related for socio-economic and psychological reasons for what is organized in increasingly industrialized cities.

Human beings tend to isolate themselves from other animal and plant populations, and to increase the number of individuals in their own population. This mode of life impacts the life of different animal and plant species, and generates alterations in the relationship between ecosystems around the world.