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What is fragmentation?

In general, Fragmentation means to split something into two or more fragments. But different subjects have defined the term with some specific meaning to explain their theories or data in a more straightforward form. In this tutorial, we will learn the meaning of Fragmentation in biology, computer, and Economics.

1.) Fragmentation : Biology

Medical students learn about every possible organ, cell, species, and origin of living bodies. One of their interest areas that fall in their syllabus is Asexual Reproduction. One of the types of asexual reproduction is termed 'Fragmentation'.

What is Fragmentation?

As suggested by its name, "fragmentation is defined as a type of cloning where an organism splits into several fragments. Once separated, these fragments develop into individual ones and are fully grown, unlike their parent organism."

Fragmentation is known as a cloning reproduction or splitting manner of reproduction. This type of reproduction is found in various organisms, unlike cyanobacteria, fungi, some plants, etc. Some animals are also seen reproducing through fragmentation, for example, flatworms, sponges, some annelid worms, and sea stars.

Let's see the method through which Fragmentation occurs in plants and animals.

Fragmentation in Plants

What is fragmentation

Fragmentation is a common type of asexual reproduction that is found among plants. It is a kind of vegetative reproduction practiced almost everywhere in the world to grow plants. Fragmentation occurs whenever plant parts usually shoot, root, or bud are detached from the parent plant and rooted in the soil. Slowly, the detached part starts growing and eventually clones the parent plant.

Fragmentation is seen in many nonvascular plants as well, such as mosses and liverworts. In the case of moss, the leaves or stems are transferred from one place to another by wind, animal fur, or even water. Once the moss fragment gets the appropriate environment, it starts growing and forms a new parent plant at that place.

Artificial Fragmentation in Plants

People use the concept of Fragmentation to propagate plants and crops artificially. They use the mechanisms of grafting, cutting, layering, and division.

Natural Fragmentation in Plants

There are several fragmentation methods as well that occur naturally in plants. Few plants synthesize specific reproductive structures, such as they produce adventitious plantlets on the top of their leaves, which later get detached from its parent plant and develop into fully grown plants.

Fragmentation in Animals

What is fragmentation

Fragmentation is a type of reproduction that occurs naturally in various animal species as well unlike coral colonies and sponges. Apart from colonial species, animals like annelid and flatworms also reproduce via Fragmentation.

Three terms are widely used in animal fragmentation, i.e., laparotomy, architomy, and budding. In each of these terms, splitting happens due to some developmental changes.

1. In laparotomy, the organism splits into two fragments at a specific stage, where each fragment develops its tissues and organs.

What is fragmentation

2. With architomy, the animal splits into many fragments that further grow into a fully developed organism.

What is fragmentation

3. Budding and laparotomy are considered similar, with the only difference that in budding, the body axis doesn't need to be aligned correctly. The new bud can develop sideways or even on point backward.

What is fragmentation

2.) Fragmentation in Computer: Disk Fragmentation

What is fragmentation

Many times while working out, the PC becomes slow. Your friends or college may suggest it because of fragmentation, and as a solution, they ask you to defrag your hard drive.

What is Fragmentation?

"Fragmentation happens when the storage system stops allocating contiguous space to store a complete file. Instead, it breaks the file into pieces and fits it on the existing disk gaps." While working on the system, the user performs the file operations like writing, deleting, resizing, etc. Therefore Fragmentation is a natural occurrence.

When a file is saved out in various parts over different locations, it takes a longer time to run. But the consequences of Fragmentation are far more extensive.

Why does fragmentation occur in systems?

Some files are pretty big in size when compared to others. If the new file that you want to store in a hard drive is bigger than the drive location, then the part size equivalent to that location is written to that one, and the other part is written to some other available slot. Now, suppose you delete that file; the space gets vacant. However, the drive will keep the space to store another that might only take half that space, and this process may continue. So eventually, your hard drive is left with different files spilled into various locations, all across the hard drive.

The hard drive of your computer is a mechanical unit that has spinning disks. Therefore, if your file is broken into 4 distinct areas, the drive needle has to wait for the disk to spin to the location it needs to read that portion of the file, compelling the file to take longer time to open when compared to the file that was all in one location.

Effects of Fragmentation on Computer Performance

Often our computers get slow, and as users, we assume that it may be happening because of the operating system or think the system is "old,." In contrast, disk fragmentation is the actual culprit in most cases. When we analyze computer performance, the disk is the prime bottleneck. File fragmentation affects the disk's access and writes speed, degrading computer performance to nonviable levels. Let's learn the problems raised by disk fragmentation that affects computer performance.

1.) Fragmentation Causes Reduced Performance:

  • Server and PC slows and performance degradation
  • Slow backup times
  • Unnecessary Input/Output operation on SQL servers or slow SQL queries
  • Slow boot-up times
  • Increase in the time for each Input/Output activity or generation of unnecessary Input/Output operation

2.) Inefficient disk caching

  • Slowdown in read and write for files
  • Long virus scan times
  • Fragmentation Linked To System Reliability Problems:
  • Crashes and system hangs
  • File corruption and data loss

3.) Boot up failures

  • Aborted backup due to lengthy backup times
  • Errors in and conflict between applications
  • Hard drive failures
  • Compromised data security

4.) Fragmentation Impacts Longevity, Power Usage, Virtualization, and SSD:

  • Premature Server or PC system failure
  • Wasted energy costs
  • Slower system performance and increased Input/Output overhead

3.) Fragmentation in Economics

While studying economics many times the students come across the term 'fragmentation'. So what does fragmentation mean in economics?

What is Fragmentation?

In economics, "Fragmentation is defined as a method that uses different suppliers or section manufacturers required in the production of items or goods. People also use the term trade to denote Fragmentation." Companies often produce or manufacture the components of a good rather than creating the final finished product. Later, all these products are assembled from different companies to create the final product.

Fragmentation is also one of the primary reasons for enriching globalization. Companies want to cut down their cost and look for suppliers who can work at optimal costing or provide better quality, even if the suppliers are located overseas. Corporations examine the parts required to create the goods and then look for potential suppliers available on the Internet. They usually place the order to find it cheapest to source, transport, and then finally assemble the parts to create.

Though Fragmentation occurs in every industry, it is common in the electronics, automobile, and clothing trades. A survey was conducted in 2016; as per the reports, the significant traders of intermediary products to the US market were China, Mexico, Ireland, and Canada. However, the first preference for import goods is given to Mexico and Canada, as transportation costs are lesser. In addition, their involvement in NAFTA allows them to have duty-free import/export.

Example of Fragmentation

For example, a reliable Airplane is crafted after sourcing and assembling parts from various world countries. Companies that assemble the parts require the body or the metal but need to assemble the internal parts such as electronic systems.

  1. The wings of an airplane are created in Germany, the body or the metals are shipped from Africa,
  2. All the necessary electronics parts are manufactured in Japan, where the required chips and glass are created in China.
  3. The airplane passenger seats are made in Mexico, where the textiles and thread are supplied from India.
  4. At last, all the Suppliers and manufacturers ship their parts to their final destination, i.e., the US, where all the components are put together and sold as the furnished product.






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