What is Life Process

Basic Life Processes

Life on earth is mainly due to the specific processes and functions. Many basic yet important processes are necessary for organisms for remaining healthy and maintaining the proper functioning of the organ system of that specific organism. These processes are all vital for survival. Talking about life processes, it consists of six different processes that are possessed by an organism that calculate the overall condition of life. The different types of life processes include:

1. Nutrition

2. Metabolism

3. Respiration

4. Transportation

5. Reproduction

6. Metabolism

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Nutrition is the process in which both plants and animals obtain food and uses it to get energy. It is a basic and essential biological process which aids living beings to get their energy from different sources. The substances that provide these nutrition are nutrients depending on the requirement of the body.

However, the mode of nutrition tends to vary from one species to the other. Plants possess autotrophic nutrition since they synthesize their food through photosynthesis by using sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide.

Animals, on the other hand, are heterotrophs, meaning that depend on plants and other organisms for their food. All vertebrates, which includes humans, and a few unicellular organisms like amoeba have a holozoic mode of nutrition.


The transportation in both plants and animals differ from one another. In animals, the transportation system is via the circulatory system which consists of blood, heart, and the blood vessels that carry blood.

Plants, on the other hand, have vascular tissues to conduct and transport the materials throughout the parts of the plants. These vascular tissues are xylem and phloem. Xylem tends to conduct both water and minerals from the roots to the shoots whereas the phloem transports the food which is prepared from the leaves to the other parts of the plant.


Metabolism refers to the chemical process by which different kinds of chemical reactions get involved to control the living state of the cells of that organism. It is further divided into anabolism and catabolism.

Anabolism: Anabolism is the process in which the energy gets stored for future requirements.

Catabolism: Catabolism is the process in which the energy gets released.


Respiration is the process in which the exchange of gases takes place. Animals possess a well-defined respiratory system to carry out the process of respiration. 

In respiration, glucose breaks down to release energy. It is a type of a redox reaction that takes place with or without oxygen. The process of respiration occurs in the mitochondria of the cells and the energy that gets released is in the form of ATP.

Respiration is Mainly of Two Different Types

  1. Aerobic Respiration: The respiration in the presence of oxygen

  2. Anaerobic Respiration: The respiration that occurs in the absence of oxygen


The biological process to reproduce offspring determines the species continuity, one generation after the other. Reproduction is of two types:

  1. Sexual Reproduction: The process to reproduce its offspring by involving two gametes or parents is known as sexual reproduction.

  2. The process to reproduce its offspring by involving a single gamete or parent is known as asexual reproduction.


Excretion refers to the process of eliminating toxic waste substances from the organism’s body. There are different ways in which organisms excrete.

Plants possess different types of modes of excretion. The oxygen during the process of photosynthesis and the carbon dioxide during the process of respiration are given out through stomata. The excessive water gets removed by the process of transpiration. Plants even shed dead cells and leaves. These waste products get stored in the plant vacuoles and the leaves which fall off. The other waste products are resins and gums, etc.

Humans, on the other hand, have a very well developed excretory system that consists of a pair of kidneys, urinary bladder, and urethra. The structural unit of kidneys are nephrons in which the blood gets filtered. Pure blood, after the process of filtration, circulates to the other parts of the body and the waste products that get extracted pass to the ureter and enter the urinary bladder. In the urinary bladder, urine gets collected and is then excreted out through the urethra. 

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. Define life process

All living organisms possess specific characteristics which differentiate them from the non-living things. These characteristics are essential and play a crucial role in the overall health of the organism. Be it plants or animals, prokaryotic or eukaryotic organisms, they are possessed by all. These basic processes are known as the life processes and include nutrition, metabolism, transportation, respiration, excretion and reproduction. All of these processes are related to one another. All these processes function together in any living organism to maintain life and wellbeing. However, when disease invades the organism, these processes get disrupted and change the balance in them.

2. What is the importance of life processes?

Life processes are regarded as the processes which are required for maintaining bodily functions and are required for survival. The essential life processes include nutrition, metabolism, transportation, reproduction, excretion, and respiration. They work together and result in the overall growth and development of the organism.

Nutrition, for example, is the process through which nutrients are used by the cells for meeting their respective needs. It is a crucial process that helps living organisms get their energy from different sources. Respiration is the process that deals with the exchange of gases. It breaks down the glucose molecules to release energy. The cell division and cell cycle are other important processes which play a crucial role in the growth and development of the organisms. They help to form new organisms and repair the damaged and dead tissues and cells.

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