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B2 3 Energy Flows

3.1 Pyramids of Biomass
Biomass is the mass of living material in plants and animals.

A pyramid of biomass represents the mass of the organisms at each stage in a food chain. It
may be more accurate than a pyramid of numbers. For example, one bush…

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B2 3 Energy Flows

3.2 Energy Losses
Not all of the food eaten can be digested, so energy is lost in faeces (waste materials).

Some of the energy is used for respiration, which realises energy for living processes. This
includes movement, so the more something moves the more energy it…

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B2 3 Energy Flows

3.3 Energy in Food Production
The shorter the food chain, the less energy will be lost. It is therefore more efficient for us to eat
plants than it is to eat animals.

We can artificially produce more meat efficiently by:

Preventing the animal from moving so…

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B2 3 Energy Flows

3.4 Decay
Detritus feeders (such as worms) may start the process of decay by eating dead animals or
plants and producing waste materials. Decay organisms then break down the waste and dead
plants and animals.

Decay organisms are microorganisms (bacteria and fungi). Decay is faster if…

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B2 3 Energy Flows

3.5 The Carbon Cycle

Photosynthesis removes CO2 from the atmosphere.

Green plants as well as animals respire. This returns CO2 to the atmosphere.

Animals eat green plants and build the carbon into their bodies. When plants or animals die (or
produce waste) microorganisms release the CO2…


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