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AQA GCSE Biology Unit 1

B1.4 Interdependence and adaptation

B1.5 Energy and biomass in food chains
B1.6 Waste materials from plants and animals

Tutor: .

Key words/ concepts

Food chain
Sulfur dioxide

B1.4.1 adaptations
1. How has the camel adapted to survive
in the desert?

Fat filled hump:

Long eyelashes and bushy eyebrows:

Large nostrils that can open and close:

Leathery patches on knees:

Two-toed feet with thick leathery pads:

Tall and thin:

2. Describe as fully as possible how this cactus has adapted to survive in its

To survive and reproduce, organisms require a supply of materials from their

surroundings and from other living things.

3. List four things that plants have to compete for:


4. Name three things that animals have to compete with each other for:

5. What are extremophiles?

6. Animals and plants are adapted to help avoid

What does the term predator mean?

Artic foxes have a white hairy coat. How does this help to avoid predators?

What strategy has this moth developed to help avoid predators?

Explain how it helps.

B1.4.2 Environmental change

Changes in the environment affect the distribution of living organisms
Animals and plants are subjected to environmental changes.
1. Name three environmental changes that can affect the distribution of animals and


2. Explain how lichen can be used to measure pollution levels

3. Students investigated the distribution of two plant species near a busy road.


White deadnettle

The bar chart shows their results.

Describe the pattern shown in the data for the Plantain plants.

Suggest explanations for:

(i) the distribution of the White deadnettle plants

(ii) the distribution of the Plantain plants.

[GCSE Paper June 2010]

4. Soay sheep live wild on an island off the north coast of Scotland. No people live
on the island.

Over the last 25 years, the average height and mass of the wild Soay sheep have
The scientists think that climate change might have affected the size of the sheep.
Suggest an explanation for the evolution of the wild Soay sheep over the last 25

[GCSE paper question June 2011]

B1.5.1 Energy in biomass

1. Complete the sentences:

Radiation from the ______ is the source of energy for most living organisms.
Green plants and algae absorb a small amount of the _______ that reaches them.
The transfer from light energy to _________________________ energy occurs
during _________________________.
This energy is stored in the substances that make up the cells of the plants.
2. What is biomass?

3. What is a pyramid of biomass?

4. Draw the pyramid of biomass for this grassland ecosystem.

Sheep ticks

Biomass dry mass (g)

100 000

5. Delete the wrong answer:

The mass of living material (biomass) at each stage in a food chain is less / more
than it was at the previous stage.

6. Give two reasons why the amounts of material and energy contained in the
biomass are reduced at each successive stage in a food chain.
Reason 1:

Reason 2:

7. The diagram shows a pyramid of biomass.

Which organisms are:




B1.6.1 Decay processes

Living things remove materials from the environment for growth and other processes.
These materials are returned to the environment either in waste materials or when
living things die and decay.
1. Materials decay because they are broken down (digested) by microorganisms.

Name three conditions when microorganisms are most active and digest materials

2. The sentences below describe how elements are recycled in a food chain.
Put them into the correct order by numbering them. (The first one has been done for

Energy released in respiration is lost by decay, heat and

movement in the production of waste
Materials are recycled and returned to the soil by decay

Plants take up minerals from the soil

Plants use minerals and the products of photosynthesis to make

complex nutrients
Nutrients in plants are passed to animals through feeding and
used in respiration to provide energy
Waste and dead tissues are decayed by microorganisms

B1.6.2 The carbon cycle

The diagram shows the mass of carbon exchanged between carbon reservoirs and
the atmosphere. The pie chart in the diagram shows the mass of carbon in three
reservoirs: oceans, soils and fossil fuels.
The figures are in billions of tonnes of carbon per year.
1. Calculate X (the yearly carbon increase into the atmosphere).
Show all your working.

2. Give one reason why deforestation increases the carbon dioxide concentration of
the atmosphere.

3. Use the following terms to complete the sentences



carbohydrates (x2)

carbon dioxide (x2)

fats (x2)

green plants

respire (x2)

Carbon dioxide is removed from the environment by _________ ________ in the

process of _________________ .
The carbon from the carbon dioxide is used to make _________________,
_________________ and proteins which make up the body of plants.
Some of the carbon dioxide is returned to the atmosphere when plants
When green plants are eaten by _________________, some of the carbon then
becomes part of the _________________, _________________ and proteins which
make up their bodies.
When animals _________________ this carbon is released into the atmosphere as
_________________ _________________.
When plants and animals die, _________________ feed on their bodies. Carbon is
released into the atmosphere as _________________ _________________ when
these organisms _________________.
Sometimes, when plants die, they are turned into fossil fuels.
The _________________ _________________ is released back into the
atmosphere when these fuels are _________________.