B3: Exchanging Materials (Humans, Plants and Animals)

This is a document mainly for students taking AQA Additional Science. It contains information on exchanging materials in humans, animals and plants from the B3 (biology) specification. I hope this helps you to revise! Please rate and comment on how to improve :) Also, i have a study group called AQA Additional Science where we discuss topics such as this one and many more. Feel free to become a member, the more the merrier!

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B3: Exchange in Materials

The cells in animals and plants all need oxygen to be able to
release energy for the jobs they do. They all produce carbon
dioxide as a waste product.

Dissolved substances move by diffusion (look back at B2 for
more information)

Active Transport

Substances are sometimes…

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The lungs are in the upper part of the body (thorax) protected by
the ribcage and separated from the lower part of the body
(abdomen) by the diaphragm.

The breathing system takes air into and out of the body so that
oxygen from the air can diffuse into the bloodstream…

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Exchanging Materials in plants

carbon dioxide enters leaf cells by diffusion
most of the water and mineral ions are absorbed by root hair

The surface area of the roots is
increased by root hairs and the
surface area of leaves by the
flattened shape and internal air


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The size of stomata is controlled by guard cells which surround
them. If plants lose water faster than it is replaced by the roots,
the stomata can close to prevent wilting.

How gas and solute exchange surfaces in humans and
other organisms are adapted to maximise effectiveness

To function efficiently,…

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In larger organisms which are more complex and have millions of
cells, there are different specialised exchange surfaces like the
villi in the small intestine or the alveoli in the lungs.

The table below shows how different larger organisms facilitate
the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide (aerobic respiration)

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