Organism Boundary

Home/Organism Boundary

An organism’s boundary demarcates a limit to its internal components and processes, this boundary condition is manifest in some form of protecting skin, cuticle, shell, or resistant membrane of some kind. On a theoretical level, a biological organism’s boundary can be understood as the mechanism for regulating the input and output of energy and entropy and through this the maintenance of the system’s integrity. Internal to its boundary the system has some degree of integrity, meaning the parts are in some way operating cooperatively, working together, and this integrity gives the system a degree of autonomy. For example, if we take a tree, every part of the tree has been designed in some way to function as part of the entire system. The bark, leaves, and truck all serve some function with respect to the whole and thus they are integrated and through this integration, they are able to function independently from other systems in their environment. Thus the leaves in a tree are dependent upon the tree’s trunk and all the other elements to that tree but they are independent of the leaves and trunks of other trees, i.e. the tree as an entirety has a degree of autonomy.