B1.5 Energy in Biomass


B1.5 Energy in Biomass

Biomass= the dry mass of an organism. unit = g/m2

Biomass fuel= energy fuel from animal waste or cut-down plants

Trophic level= a feeding level in a food chain

Radiation from the Sun is the source of energy for most communities of living organisms. Green plants and algae absorb a small amount of the light that reaches them. The transfer from light energy to chemical energy occurs during photosynthesis. This energy is stored in the substances that make up the cells of the plants.

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B1.5 Pyramids of Biomass

Pyramids of biomass

The amount of biomass and energy decreases from one stage to the next. This means that a pyramid of biomass is always pyramid shapedStart at the bottom of the food chain, working along the food chain as you move to the top of the pyramid.


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B1.5 Energy Loss

In animals, some materials and energy are lost to the environment in the waste they produce, including the carbon dioxide from respiration.

Some available energy goes into:

  • Growth
  • Production of offspring

This energy becomes available to the next stage. All energy eventually goes back into the environment.

However, most energy is lost through:

  • Respiration 
    • Movement 
    • Life processes
    • Eventually lost as heat to the surroundings
  • Waste materials
    • Faeces
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