GCSE Biology – Biodiversity, Ecology and Ecosystems

The ecology part of the GCSE Biology specification contains many important topics from animal adaptations to biodiversity within plant populations. You will need to know how biotic and abiotic factors impact on the survival of plants and animals and then in turn how this affects the biodiversity of different communities and ecosystems. You will need to be able to read and interpret pyramids of biomass and energy and understand how energy is transferred in a food chain. Finally, in this section you will learn about decomposition and how this links in to both the nitrogen and carbon cycle.

Biodiversity, Ecology and Ecosystems Revision

What adaptations do plants have?

– Plants have many adaptations which all depend on the area and climate they live in. An example is plants that grow in the shade tend to have larger leaves to collect in more sunlight. Other adaptations help plants to live in hot conditions, really wet conditions and all the different climates we see on earth.

What does biodiversity mean?

– Biodiversity is the variety of plant and animal life in a particular area or habitat.

Why is a pyramid of biomass always pyramid shaped?

– A pyramid of biomass represents the amount of biological material at each trophic level of a food chain. Because energy is lost at each level, the pyramid is a traditional shape, meaning it gets smaller as you go up each trophic level.

Explain biotic and abiotic factors.

– Biotic are living and abiotic are non-living factors which affect an organisms existence. So for example, for a rabbit, a fox is a biotic factor as it is a predator and temperature is an abiotic factor.

What are detritus feeders?

– Detritus feeders include things like earth worms and woodlice which help break up decaying material which is often referred to as detritus.

What are the key parts to the Carbon cycle?

– For your GCSE Biology and combined Science exams you need to know that respiration and combustion lead to the release of stored carbon into the atmosphere and that photosynthesis is the process that takes carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.

Within the Nitrogen cycle what are the key uses of nitrogen in plants and animals?

– Nitrogen is used to produce proteins and DNA in both plants and animals.

What does biomass mean?

– Biological mass is the total weight of living material in a given organism, area, habitat or species.

Where Next?

– GCSE Biology Exam Questions By Topic