Energy Transfer and Nutrient Cycles

What is Biomass?
The mass of living material or the chemical energy stored in the plant.
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What is an ecosystem?
An ecosystem includes all the organisms living in a particular area and all non-living (abiotic) conditions
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What are producers?
Organisms that make their own food e.g. plants and algae produce their own food through photosynthesis
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What is dry mass?
The mass of the organism with the water removed
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How do you measure the dry mass of an organism?
A sample of the organism is dried , often in an oven set to a low temperature. The sample is then weighed at regular intervals. Once the mass becomes constant you know all the water has been removed
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What is Gross Primary Production (GPP)?
It is the total amount of chemical energy converted from light energy by plants, in a given area.
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What is the formula for Net Primary Production?
Gross primary Production- Respiratory loss
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What is the role of a decomposer?
Decomposers break down dead or undigested material, allowing nutrients to be recycled.
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Why are microorganisms an important part of food webs?
Many are saprobionts (a type of decomposer)- they feed on the remainsof dead plants and animals and on their waste products, breaking them down. This allows important chemical elements in the remains to be recycled.
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Describe 1. Nitrogen Fixation?
It is when nitrogen gas in the atmosphere is turned into nitrogen containing compounds. Nitrogen fixing bacteria turns nitrogen into ammonia, which goes on to form ammonium ions in solution that can be used by plants.
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Describe 2. Ammonification?
Ammonification is when nitrogen compounds from dead organisms are turned into ammonia by saprobionts, which goes on to form ammonium ions. Animal waste is also turned into ammonia by saprobionts and go on to form ammonium ions
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Describe 3. Nitrification?
Nitrification is when ammonium ions in the soil are changed into nitrogen compounds that can be used by plants (nitrates). First nitrifying bacteria change ammonium ions into nitrites. Then other nitrifying bacteria change nitrites into nitrates.
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Describe 4. Denitrification?
Denitrification is when nitrates in the soil are converted into nitrogen gas by denitrifying bacteria-they use nitrates in the soil to carry out respiration and produce nitrgoen gas. This happens under anaerobic conditions.
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Why do plants and animals need nitrogen?
To make proteins and nucleic acids (DNA and RNA)
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Why do plants and animals need phosphorus?
To make biological molecules such as phospholipids, DNA and ATP
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What is leaching?
Leaching is when water soluble compounds in the soil are washed away e.g. by rain.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

What is an ecosystem?

Back

An ecosystem includes all the organisms living in a particular area and all non-living (abiotic) conditions

Card 3

Front

What are producers?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

What is dry mass?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

How do you measure the dry mass of an organism?

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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