AQA Additional Science Biology - Energy Flows

Taken from the AQA Science Revision Guide, just thought I'd share it on here anyway :)

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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 may have many
insects feeding on it but the mass of the bush is far greater than the mass of insects.
You can draw pyramids o biomass to scale to give an even more accurate picture.
Key Points
A pyramid of biomass represents the mass of all the organisms at each stage in a food
chain.
A pyramid of biomass is likely to give a more
accurate picture than a pyramid of numbers.

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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 uses and the less is
available for growth.…read more

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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 it doesn't waste energy on movement.
This is seen as cruelty by many people and is controversial.…read more

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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 it is warm and wet.
All of the materials from the waste and dead organisms are recycled.
Key Point
All organisms take up nutrients. If they didn't eventually release them the nutrients would
run out.…read more

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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 back into the atmosphere throughout
respiration.
A stable community recycles all the nutrients it takes up.
Key Point
The recycling of carbon involves both photosynthesis and respiration.…read more

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