GCSE Biology Unit 2 (10)

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Energy Transfer and Decay

  • Energy from the Sun is the source of nearly all life on Earth.
  • Plants use a small percentage of the light energy from the Sun to make food during photosynthesis.
  • This energy's stored in the substances which make up the cells of plants, and then works its way through the food web as animals eat the plants and each other.
  • Respiration supplies the power for all life processes, including movement.
  • Most energy is eventually lost to the surroundings as heat.
  • This is especially true for mammals and birds, whose bodies must be kept at a constant temperature which is normally higher than their surroundings.
  • Some of the material which makes up plants and animals is inedible, so it doesn't pass on to the next stage of the food chain.
  • Material and energy are also lost from the food chain in excretion.
  • This explains why you hardly ever get food chains with more than about 5 trophic levels.
  • So…


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