Standard Grade Biology - The Biosphere

This is a really helpful summary of everything I learned in the Biosphere topic. The coloured boxes are left blank so that you can fill in the appropriate graph or table :) 

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  • Created by: Zara
  • Created on: 28-02-12 08:18
Preview of Standard Grade Biology - The Biosphere

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The Biosphere is the area of our planet which involves all of the living organisms and the non living
elements which affect us.
The Biosphere is separated into many different ecosystems. An ecosystem is a biological unit which
involves the interactions between living and non living things.
Examples of ecosystems include lochs, woodland, ponds etc.
QUADRAT- In order to sample plants and slow moving animals we use a quadrat. Plants can be identified,
counted or their area cover estimated. This sample gives us an idea of the number and kind of organisms
present in an area. The quadrat must be placed randomly on the ground to give a fair result. The number of
small squares containing the plant/animal is counted ­ this is called the abundance estimate.
PITFALL TRAP- Pitfall traps are used to trap slow moving animals
moving across the ground.
o The number and type of animals may not be a representative
of the whole ecosystem
o Some animals may eat other animals
o Set up several traps
o Check traps regularly
TREE BEATING- Tree beating is another sampling technique where you gently shake the branch of a tree and
some organisms will fall into a tray held underneath the branch.
o Some organisms will miss the tray or drop off the edges. Some animals may not be dislodged by the
o Use a large tray with raised edges. Quickly insert the tray into a large plastic bag. Once back in the lab
use a pooter to trap the animals before they escape.
o Examine branch after beating and use a blunt instrument to collect remaining animals in a jar with a
screw top lid.
POOTER- Point one tube towards the organism, Line Transit- A line transit looks at the
suck in from the sealed end and identify species. distribution of organisms in a
Eg. Grassy area to woodland.
High Tide to Low Tide.
Producers and Consumers

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All organisms within an ecosystem need food to survive. Depending on how they obtain food,
organisms are divided into 2 groups ­ producers and consumers.
Producers- Green plants are called producers because the produce their own food.
Consumers- Consumers can be divided into 3 groups depending on what they consume.
o Eats Plants { Herbivore} Eg, cow.
o Eats Animals { Carnivore} Eg, Lion.
o Eats Both { Omnivore } Eg, Humans and chickens.…read more

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The growth of a population depends on the birth and death rate.
When the birth rate > death rate, the population grows.
When the birth rate < death rate, the population decreases.
When the birth rate = death rate, the population is stable.
If rabbits were introduced to a wood the population growth curve would look like this:
The graph has four phases-
A- The population shows a slow, steady growth because there are only a few rabbits producing offspring.…read more

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Animals must consume plants or animals to get protein.
o found in waterlogged soil, changes nitrate into nitrogen gas.
o Peas, beans, clover.
o Have root nodules containing nitrogen fixing bacteria.
o Convert nitrogen gas to nitrate ( nitrogen fixing)
Nitrifying bacteria converts ammonium to nitrite and nitrite to nitrate.
Pollution occurs when the presence of a substance ( pollutant ) causes harm to the environment.…read more


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