Energy in Biomass


Pyramids of Biomass

Energy comes from the sun, absorbed by plants, eaten by animals/ humans

  • Producer- Cabbage
  • Primary consumer (Herbivore)- Ladybird
  • Secondary consumer (Carnivore)- Cow

Biomass is the dry mass of a living organism

The total mass of each stage of a food chain is less than at the previous stage

The biomasses of each stage can be drawn a a pyramid

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Energy Losses

Energy is lost:

  • As movement
  • As heat (respiration)
  • As excretion etc.

Mammals use more heat/ energy than fish because they are warmer

Energy losses in food chains:

  • Energy from the Sun is absorbed by the leaf
  • Most of the light is reflected back into the atmosphere
  • Some of the absorbed energy is used form growth, heat etc.
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The Decay Process

  • Living organisms die
  • Maggots and woodlice grow and feed on the dead organisms
  • They release carbon dioxide and water
  • Bacteria and fungi release enzymes onto the waste, then absorb the nutrients
  • They release carbon dioxide and water

Living organisms remove materials from the environment as the grow. When they die and decay, the materials are returned


  • Used to give nutrients to the soil for plants
  • Bacteria breaks down the grass to create carbon dioxide and water


  • Used to clean water and get rid of human waste
  • The liquid is sprinkled over a rock with holes containing living bacteria that disolve it
  • Clean water, carbon dioxide and water is produced
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The Carbon Cycle

Carbon dioxide is removed from the atmosphere by photosynthesis

It is returned through respiration and combustion

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