Energy and Biomass in Food Chains and Waste Materials from Animals and Plants

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  • Energy and Biomass in Food Chains
    • Waste Material from Animals and Plants
      • Decay: Living things remove materials from their environment through processes such as decay.
      • Micro-organisms break down waste/dead organisms. This decay process releases substances used by plants for growth.
      • Animal ?(death/waste)? Animal dies ?(broken down by micro-organisms)?Animal decomposed ?(absorption)?Plants grow?(eaten by animals)
      • The Carbon Cycle: CO2 removed from atmosphere by photosynthesis, some CO2 returned by respiration.
      • Carbon dioxide is obtained by photosynthesis which makes carbohydrates, fats and proteins for plants, which is eaten by animals.
      • Animals respire, releasing CO2. Organisms die and micro-organisms break down organisms (decomposers)
      • As detritus feeders eat dead organisms, they respire and release CO2. (combustion also releases CO2)
      • Garden Waste (+): less methane produced, less litter in landfill, plants have nutrients, produce bio-gas and fertilizers.
      • Garden Waste (-): food waste items cannot be composted at home, waste left lying around will attract vermin, fewer than 1/2 councils offer food waste recycling.
    • Food chains: energy is transferred from one organism to another (producer ?consumer). The sun is the main source of energy.
    • Energy in biomass is lost through faeces, respiration, heat and movement.
    • Warm blooded animals' bodies were kept at a constant temperature which is higher than their surroundings.
    • Pyramid of biomass: always looks like a pyramid. Pyramid of numbers: doesn't always look like a pyramid
    • Not all the energy is passed in the pyramid due to respiration and faeces
    • Biomass is the mass of living material, producers are placed at the bottom. The pyramid represents the total biomass at each stage not the number of organisms.


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