Energy Flows

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  • Created by: KateLB
  • Created on: 11-12-13 19:31
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  • Energy flows
    • Food chains
      • Food chains show what eats what in a particular habitat.
      • The arrows in a food chain between each item always point in the direction of energy flow.
    • Energy in Biomass
      • Biomass is the amount of living material at a stage in a food chain.
      • Radiation from the sun is the main source of energy for most communities of living organisms.
        • Green plants and algae absorb a small amount of this energy to use for photosynthesis.
      • The amounts of material and energy is reduced at each biomass pyramid stage because:
        • Lost in organisms' waste materials
        • Energy released by respiration is used for movement and other life processes and is eventually lost as heat to the surroundings.
      • Pyramids of biomass
        • Pyramids of biomass show the mass of living material in each stage in a chain.
        • The amount of energy and material decrease from one stage to the next.
    • Waste materials from plants and animals
      • All plants and animals produce waste.
      • Decay processes
        • Is an essential life process that digests food or waste matter and recycles materials.
        • Materials decay because they are broken down by microorganisms.
          • Factors that affect decay:
            • Moisture levels
            • Temperature
            • Amount of oxygen available.
        • Plants use some of the substances released by decay for growth
      • In a stable community processes that return substances to the environment (decay) are balanced by the processes that remove and use substances



A well organised mind map on energy flows. This could usefully be downloaded and some images added  to aid memory of the key words. Summarising the facts on flashcards would also be helpful to learn the necessary definitions.

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