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Preliminary Biology Mid-Course Exam Notes 2005

8.2.1 (Practical Experiments: Estimating population by mark and recapture / Quadrat method / Transects)
Characteristic
Aquatic environment
Terrestrial environment
Viscosity-a measure of a
Water has a high viscosity. This
Air has a low viscosity; this makes
mediums resistance to an
makes it more difficult for
it easier for organisms to move
object moving through it
organisms to move through it.
through it.
Buoyancy-the amount of
The buoyancy of water offers
Surface temperatures on land vary
support experienced by an
support to both animals and
far more than in water. Daily and
object immersed in a liquid or
plants. It may help them to
seasonal variations may be great.
gas. It is equal to the weight of
maintain their shape, and enables Temperatures beneath the ground
the liquid or gas displaced
some organisms to function at
do not vary so much. The ability to
different temperatures.
avoid or tolerate heat gain and loss
is important in land organisms.
Pressure variation
Pressure in water increases
Atmospheric pressure decreases
The earths pull of gravity
rapidly with depth. Very few
with height above sea level and
varies pressure differences
organisms live at great depths.
also fluctuates over time. It may
between the upper and lower
Changing depths rapidly may be affect breathing by animals and
layers in both air and water. At
difficult for many organisms.
flight.
any one level pressure is
constant.
Some factors which determine the distribution and abundance of a species in each environment are
weather and climate, abundance/distribution of light, topography, availability of space and necessary
substances and number of competitors/predators
Cell Organism Population Community Ecosystem Biosphere
Photosynthesis- the process by which plant cells capture energy from sunlight (during the day) and use
it to combine carbon dioxide and water to make sugars and oxygen
CO2 + H2O
C6H12O6 + O2
Carbon dioxide + Water
Glucose + Oxygen
All living things ultimately depend on photosynthesis. The compounds plants make during
photosynthesis provide nutrients and energy to organisms that consume plants. Organisms that
consume the plant eaters gain the nutrients and energy from them, so both energy and materials are
passed from organism to organism
Some energy is used by the herbivore for the energy-requiring processes that are part of being alive,
such as body heat, active transport, muscle contraction, digestion, nerve transmission and hormone
production. Some is lost as organic matter in the faeces, urine and tissue. Some is used to build new
organic matter in the herbivore as part of growth, maintenance and repair
The process of cellular respiration is a complex chain of reactions. The following is a summary of
these complex reactions:
Glucose + oxygen sunlight carbon dioxide + water + energy
In cellular respiration, glucose is oxidised and converted to carbon dioxide and water and energy is
released. This is called aerobic cellular respiration
ATP= Adenosine Triphosphate
ADP= Adenosine Diphosphate

When ATP is broken down it becomes ADP, which creates energy. ATP ADP (releases energy)
Sampling techniques:
Technique
Process
Quadrat
Take random sample areas and total count number in those areas and multiply them
by the number of sample areas that cover the whole tested area
Transect
Draw 2D cross section of sample area and identify aspects of environment
Mark recapture
Organism, especially animals, marked or labelled in some way. Time passes by.
The number of marked and unmarked animals recorded in 2 nd sample used to
estimate population by a formula:
(no. animals captured 1st no. of animals captured second) / no. of marked animals

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8.2.2
Changes population dynamics that influences population estimates include birth rate, death rate and
migration rate
Growth rate (per unit time) = (births + immigration) (deaths + emigration)
Decomposers recycle nutrients by breaking down organic matter and returning it to the soil where
producers can make use of it, hence restarting the food chain
Detritus is dead organic matter. Detritivores break down and consume detritus
Predator-prey relationships show that population numbers for each fluctuate in direct proportion to
each other. As prey population increases, so does predator population and hence that reduces the prey
population and consequently reduces the predator population and then allows prey to increase
population and this works as a cycle
Interactions:
Interaction
Benefit Level
Process
Example
Allelopathy
One species +
An organisms, especially She-oaks shed needles to
Other species
a plant releases chemicals make the surrounding soil
that inhibit or hinder
more acidic, and this is a
growth of another species loss to other species
Parasitism
One species +
An organism lives off a
Ticks, mosquitos, fleas
Other species
host and steals the
feed off blood of warm
nutrients from it
blooded animals
Mutualism
One species +
An organism helps
Lichen (fungus) & algae.
Other species +
another organism survive The fungus gives living
because it needs that
support for the algae,
organism to help itself
while the photosynthesis
survive
from the algae provides
food for the lichen.
Commensalism
One species +
An organism lives off
A remora fish eats
Other species 0
another organism and
crustaceans growing on a
does not harm it
shark and goes for a ride
at the same time
Food chains and Food webs- Beginning with the capture of sunlight by primary producers, energy
passes through food chains and webs - from producer to consumers. As it flows, energy is alternately
stored and used to allow the life processes of all organisms to continue. However energy is lost along
the way.
Biomass pyramid- total mass of organic matter at each trophic level. The mass of each trophic level
often decreases.
Energy pyramid- energy input to each trophic level in a given area of an ecosystem over an extended
period. The energy input of each trophic level often decreases. Often very similar to biomass pyramids
An adaptation of an organism is a feature or trait that allows it to survive in its environment
Structural adaptations relate to the organisms physical structure (e.g. thick fur coating)
Physiological adaptations relate to the organisms bodily chemical function (e.g. skin colour change)
Behavioural adaptations relate to the organisms response to environment (e.g. hibernation)
Problems associated with inferring characteristics of organisms is that some characteristics are not
always straightforward
To correctly identify a feature as being adaptive, we need to know as much as possible about the
environment and organism itself.
Another way is to compare traits in different environments. This is especially useful if the same type of
organism is living in contrasting environments
Short term consequences of competition is that is reduces the chance of survival of all competitors for
a limited resource and restricts the abundance
Long term consequences of competition are that one species will eventually be driven out significantly
or reduced in abundance
Humans can hinder distribution and abundance by industry, agriculture, fire control, urbanisation,
introducing species and flood control in dams

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8.3.1 (Practical Experiment: The light microscope)


Cell theory states that:
1. Cells are the smallest functioning units of life
2. All living things are composed of cells
3. All cells form from preexisting cells
Cell theory contributors:
14 th century: magnifying glass spectacles by Italian works
1590: first compound microscope by Janssen brothers
Mid 1600s: Hooke fist to observe cells in cork
1750s: Suggested that cells are basic units of life
1824: Idea advanced by Frenchman, Henri Dutochet
1827: Robert Brown discovered and described the nucleus
1838: Schleiden and Schwann propose formal hypothesis that cells make up parts of living things
1859: Rudoif Virchow proposed that cells always produce new cells by dividing
1877: Walter Flemming verified Virchows proposal by using biological stains and improved microscope
lens. He named the process of cell division mitosis
Evidence to support cell theory
- Observations confirmed that plant material had an organised structure at a microscopic level
- Discovery of unicellular organisms
- Discovery that plant and animal cells contain a nucleus
- Basic structural pattern of living things recognised
- Concept of biogenesis
- Opposing theory (spontaneous generation) disproved
Various advances in technology have allowed for the development of the cell theory:
Light microscope- allows for observation of cells
Electron microscope- gives better resolution and magnification
Resolution- ability to distinguish between various organelles
Magnification- ability to see very small objects
Stains- gives better resolution and shows transparent organelles in cells
Spontaneous generation theory- belief that living things reproduced from mud or water or air
The following organelles can be seen through a light microscope:
Nucleus
Cytoplasm
Chloroplasts
Cell membrane
Cell wall
Vacuoles
The following organelles can be seen through an electron microscope:
Mitochondria
Ribosomes
Golgi body
Lysosomes
Endoplasmic reticulum
Structure and functions of organelles:
Organelle
Structure Description
Function
Cell membrane
Thin physical barrier that contains
Regulate flow of substances in and out of cell.
pores and is semi-permeable
Allows some substances to pass, but stops others
Lysosomes
Enclosed by single membrane.
Enzymes break down older cell organelles. If a
Smaller than mitochondria
lysosome should rupture these would break down
and destroy the cell
Endoplasmic
A network of membranes that run
Forms a complex system of canals in which
Reticulum
through cytoplasm and can be
substances are transported throughout the cell
rough or smooth
Nucleus
Large and spherical
Controls all activities of the cell
Ribosomes
Tiny spherical organelles
Make proteins
Plastids and
Oval shaped organelles with double Make food through photosynthesis
chloroplasts
membrane
Mitochondria
Highly folded organelles with
Provide energy for the cell
double membrane
Golgi bodies
Long thin strands usually grouped
Synthesis and complex proteins and carbohydrates
together
secretes various chemicals

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8.3.2
Major substances in cells:
ORGANIC = carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, nucleic acids
INORGANIC = water, oxygen, mineral salts, other elements
There is movement of molecules in and out of cells because cells need to absorb energy and release
energy as waste products in order to survive and function
The fluid mosaic model of membrane structure says that cell membranes are composed of about 40%
lipid and 60% protein. The model states that the membrane is flexible and is a mixture of chemicals.
The structure is selectively permeable and the structure accounts for the way that membranes allow
materials to move across them by both passive and active means
Diffusion is the random movement of particles from higher concentrations to lower concentrations
until a state of equilibrium is reached. It is referred to as a passive process that occurs along a
concentration gradient.
Osmosis is diffusion of water
Osmosis
Diffusion
term can be applied only to water
term can be applied to all substances
through a semi-permeable membrane
does not have to be semi-permeable membrane
occurs along a concentration gradient
occurs along a concentration gradient
passive process
passive process
The surface area to volume ratio affects the rate of movement of substances into and out of cells. The
surface of the cell is used to control the rate of removal of wastes and absorption of nutrients. The
decrease of the surface area to volume ratio means that efficiency of substances moving in and out of
the cell will be limited. Substances need a large surface area to volume ratio to maintain the rate of
substances moving in and out to maintain efficient rates of metabolism. As a result, cells cannot grow
too big because the surface area to volume ratio will decrease significantly. Surface area increases by a
power of 2, while volume increases by a power of 3

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