Energy And Nutrient Transfer (BIOL2)

Energy And Nutrient Transfer

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  • Created by: Peta
  • Created on: 11-03-12 12:59

Food Chains


LIGHT ENERGY (photosynthesis - chemical energy)

TREE (producer)

CATERPILLAR (consumer - herbivore)

SMALL BIRD (consumer 2 - carnivore)

HAWK (consumer 3 - top carnivore)

(Direction of energy and nutrient flow going down the page)

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Energy Lost in the Food chain

1) Much of the light energy can't be used by the plant because-

  • most doesn't hit the plants
  • Some is reflected from the leaf's surface e.g waxy cuticle
  • only part of the light is used/useful and can be absorbed by chlorophyll    
  • right colour- red / wrong colour - green

2)Energy is lost from animals and plants

  • Sun ----> 98% energy lost
  • Producer ----> 90% energy lost
  • Primary Consumer ----> 90% energy lost
  • Secondary Consumer ----> 90% energy lost
  • Teritary Consumer
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Why only three consumers in the chain?

  • Not enough energy to sustain another level

Energy is lost by -

A)Respiration produces heat

B)Death and decomposistion (including urine and faeces) as the energy goes into decomposers, Bacteria and Funghi

C)Some parts of the body cant be digested e.g- callulose,bones,teeth

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What is energy used for?

1) Respiration - all cells need energy to work, heat, repair

2)For Growth - when a plant grows, biomass increases

3) Transferred to decomposers ( funghi and bacteria)

4) For reproduction

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Biomass Pyramids



BIO - Living

MASS - weight in an area - quantity determined by number and size

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No nutrients are ever lost from an environment (energy) they are changed from one form to another

Excretion (urine)                              The nutrients must be released to be used

Egestion (faeces)  ------>                        

Death                                             Cycling of nutrients to give a balance

  • They use the nutrients for themselves - for respiration (energy) reproduction and growth

They are then available for other organisms

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The Carbon Cycle


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The Nitrogen Cycle


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Improving Soil

1) Digging/Ploughing/Draining - improve aeration --> denitrifying bacteria die - nitrifying bacteria increase


a) Artficial eg nitrates

b) Natural -  maunure, compost (impoves texture of soil) --> help restart the nitrogen cylce (nitrifying bacteria increase)

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Problems in the carbon cycle

1) Deforestation - removes tress - less photosynthesis - CO2 NOT REMOVED

2) Increased combustion for energy - CO2 is produced


  • CO2 + Water(rain) = ACID RAIN - erosion of stone - plant leaves destroyed - lakes acidified
  • Greenhouse effect - GLOBAL WARMING - climate change
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This is not Biol2 (AQA)! All this content is from Biol4!

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