Unit 4

The description of structure and variation of living organisms over a period of time, ended up as two, apparently irreconcilable perspectives on biology. The two perspectives essentially rested on two levels of organisation of life forms and phenomena.

One described at organismic and above level of organisation while the second described at cellular and molecular level of organisation. The first resulted in ecology and related disciplines. The second resulted in physiology and biochemistry.

Description of physiological processes, in flowering plants as an example, is what is given in the chapters in this unit. The processes of mineral nutrition of plants, photosynthesis, transport, respiration and ultimately plant growth and development are described in molecular terms but in the context of cellular activities and even at organism level. Wherever appropriate, the relation of the physiological processes to environment is also discussed.

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