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8 Cards in this Set

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  • Back

What is a heterotroph?

An organism that cannot produce its own food and must eat other organisms to live.

What is an autotroph?

An organism capable of synthesising its own food from inorganic substances using light or chemical energy.

What is a food chain?

A group of organisms in a food chain consisting of producers, consumers and decomposers.

Explain the carbon cycle?

Carbon enters the atmosphere as carbon dioxide from respiration and combustion.Carbon dioxide is absorbed by producers to make carbohydrates in photosynthesis.Animals feed on the plant and most of the carbon they consume is exhaled as carbon dioxide (from respiration). The animals and plants eventually die and are then consumed by decomposers, the carbon in their bodies being returned to the atmosphere as carbon dioxide. In some conditions decomposition is blocked and the plant and animal material may then be available as fossil fuel.

Explain the nitrogen cycle?

Fixation is the first step in the process of making nitrogen usable by plants where bacteria changes nitrogen into ammonium. Then ammonium then gets changed into nitrates (a form plants can absorb) by bacteria before plants absorb nitrates from the soil into their roots in which the nitrogen gets used in amino acids, nucleic acids, and chlorophyll. When a plant or animal dies, decomposers like fungi and bacteria turn the nitrogen back into ammonium so it can reenter the nitrogen cycle.

Difference between atmospheric and biological fixation? (nitrogen cycle)

Biological Fixation:

Nitrogen gas diffuses into the soil from the atmosphere, and species of bacteria (usually in legumes) convert this nitrogen to ammonium ions.

Atmospheric Fixation:

Lightning converts atmospheric nitrogen into ammonia and nitrate that enter soil with rainfall.

Explain the phosphate cycle?

Phosphorus is often found in soil and rock as calcium phosphate which dissolves in water to form phosphate. The roots of plants absorb phosphate then humans/animals that eat the plants reuse the organic phosphate. When the humans and animals die, phosphorus is returned to soil.

Difference between bioaccumulation and biomagnification?

Bioaccumulation refers to the accumulation of a toxic chemical in the tissue of a particular organism. Biomagnification refers to the increased concentration of a toxic chemical the higher an animal is on the food chain.