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List three abiotic characteristics and briefl y describe the main differences
between aquatic and terrestrial environments.
Answer: Temperature, pressure and light availability:
Temperature in water (aquatic environments) is very constant and any change
is only gradual and very small. In contrast, temperature on land (terrestrial
environments) tends to be higher and has large variations over short periods
of time (i.e. daily variations of 040C in the desert). There are signifi cant
variations even over long periods of time such as seasonal variations between
summer and winter.
Pressure in aquatic environments increases with water depth to the point
of having crushing effects on organisms at signifi cant depths. In terrestrial
environments, only small variations occur in pressure. Weather changes can
cause small daily fl uctuations. Organisms at sea level are under more pressure
than those at high altitudes on land.
Light availability in aquatic environments is far less than on land where light is
in abundance and only cloud cover may reduce the light availability. In water,
more than half of the light is refl ected from the surface with only 1 per cent
reaching 100 m depth. Turbidity (cloudiness) of the water may affect the
amount of light entering, and the angle of light may also affect absorption of
light by water (i.e. sunset versus midday angle of the sun, and also seasonal
sun angles).
2. Briefl y describe how an ecologist would go about recording the distribution of
plants in a rainforest ecosystem.
Answer: An ecologist would mark out a transect line from one side of the
to the other, or covering a representative area of the rainforest. They would then
plot the plant species along the transect line in a profi le sketch to scale and
identify the different plant species. The ecologist may also choose to do a plan
sketch (aerial or surface view). They would then analyse the distribution and
patterns formed (i.e. regular/uniform, clumped or random) by the different plant
species in the rainforest.

Answers to end of chapter revision
Characteristics of ecosystems are determined by
biotic and abiotic factors


Please note that the following answers are sample

answers only.
There may be many alternative answers to the same
question that
are also correct. These are examples of correct

Copyright 2008 McGraw-Hill Australia. Permission is granted to reproduce for classroom use.

3. Describe an investigation you conducted using the quadrat method. List one
advantage and one disadvantage of this method.
Answer: We carried out an investigation to fi nd out how much grass cover the
football oval had. To fi nd this out we used the quadrat (percentage cover)
method to estimate grass cover. Ten 1 m 1 m quadrats were randomly placed
on the oval and grass cover was drawn to scale and plotted for each one. Back
in the classroom we calculated the average percentage cover of the ten quadrats
that were collected. We also measured the area of the oval and then calculated
average percentage cover of the amount of area to fi nd out how much grass
the football oval had.
Advantage of this methodsimple, quick and inexpensive method.
Disadvantage of this methodit only takes an estimate by getting a
representative sample of the oval; it is not an accurate measure of the total
of grass cover, just an estimate.
4. Describe a method you would use to estimate population numbers of
kookaburras in an area.
Answer: A method that would be suitable to use to estimate population numbers
of kookaburras in an area is the markreleaserecapture technique. This involves
three main stages: fi rst capture, mark and release, and recapture.
First capture (a random sample of kookaburras from the population is selected)
capture 20 kookaburras using bird nets
Mark and release (marked kookaburras from the fi rst capture are released back
into the natural population and left for a period of time to mix with unmarked
tag the 20 kookaburras with leg bands and release them back into their area
and leave them for three weeks to mix with the population
Recapture (a sample is captured again to look at the proportion of kookaburras
marked from the previous sample)
after the 3 weeks capture a second sample of ten kookaburras to fi nd the
number of marked kookaburras from the fi rst capture.
Use the following formula to calculate an estimate of the abundance of
kookaburras in the area:
number captured number recaptured
_________ ___ _____ ___ ______ _ _______

number marked in recapture

5. Identify two factors that might determine the distribution and abundance of
mangroves in their estuarine environment.
Answer: Salinity, low oxygen and soft soil, tidal changes.
6. Describe the roles of photosynthesis and respiration in ecosystems.
Answer: Photosynthesis is the process where plants use the energy from sunlight
to convert the carbon dioxide and water to glucose. A small amount of glucose is
used by the plant for energy but most of the glucose is used for plant growth or
Plants manufacture their own food through the process of photosynthesis and
are responsible for harnessing the energy from sunlight for use in ecosystems.
Their role as producers starts the food chain with high amounts of energy ready
for passing on to consumers. This involves removal of carbon dioxide from the

return of oxygen to the air, and the manufacture of food.


Copyright 2008 McGraw-Hill Australia. Permission is granted to reproduce for classroom use.

The role of respiration is to remove oxygen from the air, return carbon dioxide
to the air and provide energy. Glucose is broken down in the presence of oxygen
to produce carbon dioxide and water and in particular energy as ATP is released.
7. Identify two uses of energy by organisms.
Answer: Firstly, sunlight energy is absorbed by producers (plants) and used in the
process of photosynthesis to produce glucose.
Secondly, glucose is an energy source and a small amount is used by the plant
for the production of organic molecules (e.g. proteins and carbohydrates),
repair and maintenance, fl uid movement and transport, and for specialised cell
8. Identify the general word equation for aerobic cellular respiration.
glucose + oxygen carbon dioxide + water + energy (ATP)
many chemical reactions

9. Justify the use of two different sampling techniques to make population

when total counts cannot be performed.
Answer: Refer to sample answer using marking criteria.
1. Quadrat sampling (i.e. measuring percentage cover of grass)
Advantages of using this technique for this purpose are:
calculating the abundance of plant species is easier than with animals because
they stay in the one place
calculating the entire plant species numbers in most cases would be an endless
task, so this technique saves time
using the quadrat technique for taking random samples of the population
provides an estimate of the population by looking at a representative of the
total population
it is an easy and simple technique for measuring abundance in large
it is an inexpensive technique
it causes minimal disturbance to the environment.
Disadvantages of using this technique for this purpose are:
this technique is only suitable for plants and slow-moving animals
can be a little time consuming in the calculation of percentage cover/numbers
after plotting data in the fi eld.
Conclusion: Quadrat sampling is an easy, simple, time effective and inexpensive
technique for making population estimates, particularly when calculating the
abundance of plant species. With plant populations being in such high numbers,
looking at a representation of the total population allows estimates to be
instead of having the almost impossible task of counting individual organisms.
It is also easily used in the fi eld and has minimal disturbance to the environment
during data collection. Therefore, the quadrat sampling technique is a very
and appropriate method for making population estimates when total counts
be performed.
2. Markreleaserecapture (e.g. netting birds for tagging with bands)
Advantages of using this technique for this purpose are:

simple method that provides an estimate of abundance for animals in large

populations that are diffi cult to count

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are a little more diffi cult to calculate abundance due to their high
mobility, and attempting to count every animal species in an area can be
very diffi cult
those animals that move around quickly need estimates to be taken. Hence,
estimating abundance is a much easier way of fi nding out roughly how many
animal species exist in an area
can improve accuracy and time effi ciency by using technology
can tag/mark very mobile animals using tracking bands and tracing their
movements by GPS systems and the use of satellites
capturing animals requires various trapping techniques, all designed so that
animals are unhurt.
Disadvantages of using this technique for this purpose are:
only suitable for mobile animals. This is a little more diffi cult than the method
used for plants as animals may constantly move around or hide
can be time consuming depending on type of species captured, method of
tagging, and time suitable for waiting while the tagged group mixes
can be disturbing to the environment
for those that are slow moving, counts can be made
can be traumatic for the animals being trapped and tagged, and biases can
happen when designing the trapping method.
Conclusion: The markreleaserecapture technique is a simple method that
provides an estimate of abundance for animals in large populations that are
diffi cult to count. This technique calculates an estimate for animal populations
that are highly mobile and can be accurately monitored with the support and use
of technology such as GPS systems. There are various trapping methods
to allow selection of a suitable method for the chosen animal species, and all
are designed so that animals are unhurt. Therefore, the markcapturerelease
technique is a simple, useful and appropriate sampling technique for making
population estimates when total counts cannot be performed.
1. Outline the factors that affect numbers in predatorprey populations in an
Answer: Any number and combination of the following factors may affect
in predatorprey populations in an area:
number of predators competing for same prey
availability of a preys food
birth rate (depending on age of reproductive maturity and number of
reproductive episodes per lifetime)
death rate (increased by exposure to disease)
number of males and females
size of ecosystem for supporting the predator and prey numbers
movement between ecosystems
number of shelter sites available.

Unique aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems



Copyright 2008 McGraw-Hill Australia. Permission is granted to reproduce for classroom use.

2. Identify one example of allelopathy, parasitism, mutualism and commensalism

in an ecosystem and briefl y describe the role of organisms in each type of
Allelopathy: an example of allelopathy (the production of specifi c
biomolecules by one plant that can be benefi cial or detrimental to another
plant) is the black walnut, which releases a chemical that inhibits respiration.
The chemical is found in all parts of the plant but it is concentrated in the buds
and roots. Plants exposed to this chemical exhibit symptoms such as wilting,
yellowing of foliage and eventually death.
Parasitism: an example of parasitism (a relationship where one species
benefi ts and the other is harmed) is the fl ea and the dog. Fleas (ectoparasites)
live on the surface of their host (dog), obtaining food and shelter. They feed
upon the fl uids, but do not usually kill the host organism they are feeding on,
as this would destroy their food supply. The host remains alive with little harm.
Mutualism: an example of a mutualistic relationship (a relationship where both
species benefi t from the association) is within reef-building corals which have
symbiotic algae within their tissues that provide the yellow-brown pigments
that give the coral its colour. The algae live, reproduce, photosynthesise and
use the waste products of the host. In turn, the coral uses oxygen and food
produced by the algae during photosynthesis to grow, reproduce and form its
hard skeleton, which is the basis of the reef. The formation of the Great Barrier
Reef depends on this mutualistic relationship. When corals are stressed they
expel the algae, which in turn cause the coral to starve and die, leaving white
Commensalism: an example of commensalism (a relationship where one
species benefi ts and the other is unaffected) is the epiphyte group such as
mosses, small ferns and orchids, which can be seen on tree trunks in moist
forests. They appear to benefi t from living on the trunk of the host tree by
catching rainwater for dissolving nutrients and being closer to light. Epiphytes
do not appear to affect the host tree negatively. The epiphyte benefi ts but the
host is unaffected.
3. Describe the role of decomposers in ecosystems.
Answer: Decomposer organisms use the energy of dead organisms for food
and break them down into materials that can be recycled for use by other
organisms. Bacteria and fungi in the soil are very important because they return
nutrients to the soil when they decompose dead animals and plants. The cycle,
highly important in this process is the nitrogen cycle as nitrogen is essential to
all living things.
4. Identify the difference between food chains, food webs and pyramids of
biomass and energy. Draw an example of each.
Food chains show the energy movement from one living thing to another

(refer to Fig. 2.13 on page 35 in the textbook or below).

Grass grasshopper kookaburra
It describes the feeding order, or which plants or animals eat or are eaten by
other animals. However, food chains are not isolated in ecosystems; they are
more realistically shown as a food web.

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webs show complex food interactions in an ecosystem. They are made

up of two or more food chains. (Refer to Fig. 2.14 on page 35 in the textbook.)
A pyramid of numbers shows a food web and the different trophic levels, and
the actual number of organisms at each level. (Refer to Fig. 2.18 on page 37
in the textbook.)
A biomass pyramid shows the amount of biomass (total amount of living
material present) through each level of the food chain. At each level, energy
(heat) and matter (food and wastes) are lost (90 per cent). (Refer to Fig. 2.18
on page 37 in the textbook.)
Different to the pyramid of numbers and the biomass pyramid is the pyramid
of energy. Not all the energy and material taken in by one trophic group
is passed on to the next because not all organisms at one trophic level are
consumed by the next; there are also losses of heat. Energy fl ow indicates the
food value of trophic levels more accurately than either numbers or biomass.
(Refer to Fig. 2.18 on page 37 in the textbook.)
5. Defifi ne the term adaptation and discuss the problems associated with
characteristics of organisms as adaptations for living in a particular habitat.
Answer: An adaptation is a feature of an organism that makes it suited to its
environment. It is any characteristic that increases an organisms likelihood of
survival and reproduction relative to the organisms that lack the characteristic.
Characteristics of present-day organisms are products of millions of years of
change where ancestors have received adaptations to survive in different
An organisms current characteristics may have been inherited a long time ago
when it existed in a different habitat; now the organism still possesses that
characteristic (or adaptation) but it is not of any use or related to its survival in
its current habitat. Dolphins and whales are well adapted to life in water;
they possess lungs which are characteristic of land-dwelling animals. If these
animals have occupied a very different environment to that of their ancestors,
then we cannot infer that the lungs are any sort of adaptation to their current
environment, but one inherited over time when they could possibly have been
To be able to determine if a characteristic is an adaptation, biologists need
to study the organisms environment. It is diffi cult to relate a characteristic to a
specifi c feature of an organisms environment when we do not know the exact
habitats its ancesters have lived in over generations.
Sometimes adaptations may be obvious (like the stick insect camoufl aging itself
to its environment), and sometimes not. Some characteristics may have no
benefi t
to the organism in a particular habitat, or are just not adaptations at all. It may
diffi cult to be certain how one characteristic benefi ts the organism in a

Interpreting the characteristics of organisms from fossil evidence in particular

may lead to incorrect assumptions. For example, the extinct organism
possessed bony plates along its back. Some suggest that this characteristic was
adaptation to its competitive environment and used for defence. Others suggest
was simply used to attract mates, or perhaps even used for thermoregulation.
Therefore, we must be careful not to assume that all characteristics of organisms
are adaptations to their present day habitat or environment.

Copyright 2008 McGraw-Hill Australia. Permission is granted to reproduce for classroom use.

6. Identify two named plants and two named animals with adaptations to factors
in their environment.
Plantsxerophytes are plants that have adapted structurally to dry environments
by reducing the surface area of their leaves in order to minimise water loss.
For example:
the cactus has small spiky leaves to reduce loss of water
pigface, found on sand dunes, has fl eshy stems which store water.
Animalsadaptations to a lack of water may vary. For example:
kangaroos do not sweat, so they avoid losing water through sweating
bilbies hide in burrows to reduce water loss by evaporation; most desert
mammals are nocturnal to reduce exposure to daytime temperatures.
7. Identify and describe in detail adaptations of a named plant and a named
from the local ecosystem you studied.
Answer: This answer will depend on the type of ecosystem you studied.
The sample answer will assume a mangrove ecosystem was studied.
Plant examplegrey mangroves
Grey mangroves use their roots, leaves and reproductive methods in order to
survive in a harsh, changing intertidal environment of low oxygen, soft soils and
saline conditions.
Grey mangroves live in shifting environments where tides and fl oods constantly
move the mud in which they live, destabilising the trees. Grey mangroves have
pneumatophores (aerial roots) which are fi lled with spongy tissue and small
holes that provide structural support and transfer oxygen from the air to the
trapped below the ground in low oxygen soil. The roots are also adapted to
prevent the intake of a high amount of salt from the water.
Grey mangroves have leaves with glands that excrete salt. They can tolerate the
storage of large amounts of salt in their leaves which are later dropped when the
amount of salt gets too high. They can also restrict the opening of their stomata
(pores in the leaves) responsible for regulating the exchange of gases and water
during photosynthesis. This conserves the fresh water within the leaves which is
vital for survival in a saline environment. Grey mangroves are also able to reduce
their leaf surface exposure to the hot sun by turning their leaves side on. This
reduces excess water loss through evaporation.
Animal examplemangrove crabs
Mangrove crabs burrow into the soft mud to gain protection from both
dehydration and predators. They use the water in their burrows to keep their
gills moist and as a barrier to the hot sun.
The fi ddler crab has a distinctive single large claw in the males. It burrows

in the intertidal zone and as the tides recedes it comes out to feed on the algae,
microbes and organic matter. Sometimes it may drag leaf litter into its burrow
to be eaten. This use of the burrow (and for the male the possession of a large
claw) provides protection against predators in a very vulnerable environment.
Being intertidal makes the crab vulnerable and exposed at low tide. It must avoid
dehydration and predation by burrowing into the moist mud.

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8. Describe and explain the short-term and long-term consequences on the

ecosystem of species competing for resources.
Short-term consequences
When two species compete for a resource, the short-term effect is a decrease
in population numbers. In most instances, one species is more successful than
the other and so one species fi nds that its population numbers have dropped
more signifi cantly than the other (due to an increase in deaths and a decrease
in reproduction rates). Depending on the continued success of the one species
over the other, this trend may continue. However, depending on the supply of
the resource they are competing for, the ability of the losing species to adapt
by occupying a different niche, or other environmental factors, this trend may
Long-term consequences
If the trend of one species successfully out-competing another species continues,
the long periods of decreased reproduction rates and increased deaths will
eventually lead to the elimination of the losing species in that area, and on the
larger scale possible extinction.
9. Identify three impacts of humans in the ecosystem you studied.
Answer: The answer to this question depends on each individual area that you
studied; however, a list of possible impacts, which you may have observed three
of, are listed below:
land clearance and habitat fragmentation (e.g. clearing of large areas of
slash and burn agriculture (e.g. clearing with burning)
integrated pest management (e.g. use of pesticides, biological control)
land and water degradation (e.g. poor waste management, dams, irrigation
runoff, roads and mining)
erosion (e.g. livestock, clearing/ploughing, roads and housing development)
soil acidifi cation (e.g. chemical runoff into soil water)
soil and water salinity (e.g. irrigation runoff)
polluting the atmosphere (e.g. industrial gases and vehicle emissions)
introduced species (e.g. fox, rabbit, cane toad, lantana, Patersons curse or
prickly pear).
10. Describe how you measured three different abiotic features in the ecosystem
you studied using appropriate instruments, and discuss how these factors may
determine the distribution of organisms.
Air temperature (thermometer in degrees Celsius)air temperature was taken
at 30 minute intervals and averaged for each zone.
Light intensity (light metre)light intensity was measured at intervals the same
as temperature and averaged out for each zone.
Soil salinity (silver nitrateprecipitation grade)small samples of soil were
taken from each zone, shaken in a test tube with distilled water, then fi ve drops
of silver nitrate were added to the test tube once the sediment had settled after

shaking. The amount of white precipitate (cloudiness) was graded on a scale of

15 for salinity.

1. (a) Clarify what is meant by a scientifi c theory.

(b) Describe how you would go about validating a scientifi c theory.
(c) State the cell theory.
(a) A scientifi c theory is the general idea or reasoning provided by scientists
to explain a phenomenon, based on observation and experiment.
(b) It may be validated by testing whether it holds true for predictions (both
by experimentation and observation) and whether or not it is supported
by new evidence that is found.
(c) All living things are made of cells.
Cells are the basic structural and functional unit of all organisms.
All cells come from pre-existing cells.
2. Before the development of the cell theory, it was commonly believed that
organisms could arise by spontaneous generation.
(a) Outline the theory of spontaneous generation.
(b) Describe experimental evidence that was used to discount this theory.
(c) Explain the role that the invention of the microscope played in the dismissal
of the theory of spontaneous generation.
(a) This past scientifi c theory suggested that life can arise from non-living
things, independent of any parent being presentfor example, animals
such as maggots could arise from rotting meat.
(b) The experiment of Francisco Redi (1668) successfully showed that maggots
only appear in meat that has been exposed to fl ies and that they did not
spontaneously appear in meat that had been covered and not exposed
to fl ies.
(c) The microscope revealed the cellular nature of living things and made
people aware of the existence of microscopic structures. By being able to
see microscopic living cells such as eggs and sperm cells and microscopic
organisms, people could understand that microscopic living structures such
as these must be present in order for new living organisms to arise.
3. Describe the contributions of Robert Hooke and Robert Brown in the
development of the cell theory. (Find a reliable way of remembering which
Robert did what!)
Robert Hooke observed cork under a light microscope and noted the
compartmental nature of this tissue. He named the compartments cells (150
prior to the cell theory). Hooke also further developed the compound microscope,
allowing better viewing of microscopic structures such as cells and their nuclei.
Robert Brown discovered the nucleus (8 years before the cell theory). He
it as a large body observed in the cells of the plant material that he was
The observation of the regular placement of nuclei in plant tissue (by
Schleiden) and in animal tissue (by Schwann) suggested to them that all living
tissue has a similar basisthat is, it is made of compartments called cells and

these cells are the basic unit of all living things. The division of the nucleus inside
cells led Virchow to add that all cells arise from pre-existing cells (16 years later).
Therefore the discovery of the nucleus by Brown, the naming of cells by Hooke
and his improvements on the compound microscope played important roles in
development of the cell theory.
(Any suitable way of remembering which Robert did what is acceptable for the
second part of the answer to this question).
4. Discuss why biologists have continued to use light microscopes since the
invention of the electron microscope.
Answer: The light microscope magnifi es things and, although it does not show
as much detail as the electron microscope, it is still useful because it shows more
detail than could be seen with the naked eye. The light microscope is more
affordable and accessible to school students and the general public. It is easier
use because it involves simpler techniques for preparation of slides to be viewed
and can be used to view living things as well as non-living or dead things.
5. Put the following words into order of size, from the smallest to the largest:
organelles, molecules, cells, atoms and organisms.
Answer: atoms, molecules, organelles, cells, organisms.
6. Compare the detail seen with a light microscope in plant and animal cells
viewed under a light microscope.
Table 1.6 Parts of cells visible under a light microscope
Part of cell Plant cell Animal cell
Boundary Cell wall and membrane Cell membrane
Organelles Nucleus, chloroplasts, vacuole
visible in cytoplasm
Nucleus, no other organelles
visible; cytoplasm may appear
Cell shape Regular Irregular
Vacuoles Large, permanent vacuole
surrounded by tonoplast and
containing cell sap
No large vacuoles visible

Copyright 2008 McGraw-Hill Australia. Permission is granted to reproduce for classroom use.

7. State whether the each of the following photographs was viewed under a light
an electron microscope and whether it shows plant or animal cells. Justify your
(a) (b)
(c) (d)
(a) Plant cells: regular shape (square); cell walls visible.
(b) Plant cells: regular shape; chloroplast present (stained); large vacuoles
visible; cell walls visible.
(c) Animal cells: irregular shape; cell walls visible; chloroplasts present;
large vacuoles visible.
(d) Plant cells: regular shape; cell walls visible; chloroplasts present; large
vacuoles visible.

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8. Using the method described for comparative diagrams on page 84, draw a

comparative diagram of:

(a) a light and an electron microscope
(b) a chloroplast and a mitochondrion.
(a) Draw diagrams and then complete comparative labelling as indicated
Labels on light microscope
Labels in centre, common
to both diagrams Labels on electron microscope
Light source Eye Source of electrons
Objective lenses Specimen Electromagnetic lenses
Final image on photographic
plate or screen
Final image reaches eye


9. Identify the two types of nucleic acid found in cells.

Answer: DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) and RNA (ribonucleic acid).

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10. Analyse the micrograph below and assess whether it shows plant or animal
Justify your choice.
Animal cells: irregular shape; cell membrane but no cell wall; no large vacuoles
or chloroplasts visible.

Copyright 2008 McGraw-Hill Australia. Permission is granted to reproduce for classroom use.

1. Draw a diagram of a plant/animal cell as seen under the electron microscope.

Label each part of the cell. Identify what chemicals make up each part of the
cell and, using a different-coloured pen, write the name of the chemicals next
to each respective part that has been labelled.
Draw diagram and label as indicated below.
Part of cell labelled Chemical composition
Cell wall (plant cell only) Carbohydrate: cellulose (sometimes also
contains lignin)
Cell membrane (and any other membranes
labelled, e.g. nucleus, mitochondria, ER,
vacuoles and Golgi bodies)
Protein and lipid
Nucleolus RNA and protein
Lysosome Protein and lipid (membrane)
Protein digestive enzymes (inside)
Mitochondria Protein and lipid (membrane)
Small amounts of glucose
Small amounts of DNA

(inside matrix)

Chloroplasts (plant cells only) Protein and lipid (membrane)

Chlorophyll (in thylakoids)
Carbohydrate: stored starch (in stroma)

Vacuole Protein and lipid (membrane)

Chloride ions and other dissolved salts

(in sap)

Nucleus Protein and lipid (membrane)

DNA and protein (chromatin)

2. Draw a table to compare the organic chemicals found in cells. Your table
compare the monomers of each compound, the chemical elements (atoms) that
comprise that compound, where in the cell each is found and two functions or
uses of the chemicals in cells.
Chemical Monomer
Elements of which it
is composed
Parts of cell in which
it is found Main use or function in cells
Glucose Carbon, hydrogen and
(2 hydrogen:1 oxygen
Mitochondria Chemical respiration as an
energy source for cells
As starch granules
in chloroplasts and
Stored starch is an insoluble
form of stored energy that
does not affect the osmotic
Cell wall of plant cells Structural component of cell
wallsprovides support for
plant cells and creates wall
pressure to ensure turgidity
Lipids Glycerol and fatty
Carbon, hydrogen and
(no 2:1 ratio)
Cell membrane, droplets
in cytoplasm, and all
membranes of organelles
Structural part of all
Form of stored energy as fat
or lipid droplets in cytoplasm
Proteins Amino acids Carbon, hydrogen,
oxygen, nitrogen,
sometimes phosphorous
and sulfur
Cell membrane,
all membranes of
organelles, basis of
protoplasm, and all
Structural part of all
Structural part of cytoplasm
and nucleoplasm
Enzymes control all
metabolic reactions in cells
Nucleic acids Nucleotides of
Carbon, hydrogen,
oxygen and nitrogen
Chromatin in the nucleus

Ribosomes (RNA)
DNAstores coded
information to controls
all cell activities; contains
hereditary information and
ensures it is passed on from
one generation to the next
RNAplays a role in protein
Chloride ions N/A Chloride (Cl) Dissolved in the
cytoplasm; in the cell sap
of vacuoles
Used in the regulation of
water balance by osmosis in
cells; assists with membrane
functioning (e.g. muscle and
nerve cells in animals)
Lignin N/A N/A Cell wall of plant cells,
particularly woody tissue
Gives extra strength and
support; because it is
waterproof, it helps direct
water movement in roots

3. Identify three main components of a cell membrane and describe how each
contributes to membrane functioning.
Answer: Cell membranes are made up of:
a lipid bilayer, which forms the basis of the membrane and is not rigid in
structure. It allows direct diffusion of some substances into and out of cells.
The lipid bilayer is partly responsible for the selectively permeable nature of
the cell membrane, making it diffi cult for substances that are lipid insoluble
(hydrophilic) or too large to pass through. It also allows proteins that form
channels to move about within the membrane. The fl uid nature of the
membrane allows it to join with other membranes and reseal, to fl ow around
particles and repair damage or grow


which are scattered within the lipid bilayer act as membrane

transporters, creating active carrier systems, channels or pores through which
selected materials can cross the membrane by means of facilitated diffusion
(channels and carrier proteins), osmosis (aquaporins) and active transport.
Therefore the protein component also contributes to the selectively permeable
nature of the membrane, essential to cells for the exchange of substances
surface components (carbohydrates) in the form of glycolipids and
glycoproteins, which play a role in cell recognition. They enable organisms to
distinguish between parts of their own bodies (self) and foreign or invading
cells (non-self). They may also act as receptor sites for the uptake of certain
4. Complete the following table comparing the structure and function of a cell
membrane with that of a cell wall.
Table 2.8 Comparison of cell membranes and cell walls
Cell membrane Cell wall
Chemical composition A complex structure made of
protein and lipid (much thinner than
a cell wall).
A simpler structure made mainly
of strands of the carbohydrate
cellulose; also contains pectin and
may have additional thickening such
as lignin and suberin.
Where it is found Directly surrounds the cytoplasm
and is the outer boundary in animal
cells and forms part of the boundary
in plant cells.

Directly surrounds the cell

membrane in plant cells and forms
the outermost boundary in plant
Function Controls the movement of
substances into and out of cells and
is selective in what substances can
pass through.
Provides support and shape, limits
the expansion of cells and plays a
role in cell turgidity. Allows water
and most molecules to pass freely
into and out of cells.
Access to molecules Selectively permeable: it has pores
through which substances can
pass. It also has receptors on the
surface for the passage of some
Permeable: has pits with strands
of cytoplasm passing through them
to allow passage of substances
between cells.

5. In the form of a table, compare the processes of diffusion, osmosis and active
transport under the following headings:
Type of substances that move
Concentration gradient along which they move
Energy requirements
Only across selectively permeable membranesyes or no?
Examples in living organisms.

Copyright 2008 McGraw-Hill Australia. Permission is granted to reproduce for classroom use.


Comparing movement across membranes

Feature Diffusion Osmosis Active transport
Type of substances
that move
Any molecules Water only Selected substances for which
there are carriers
Concentration gradient From low to high concentration From low to high concentration From high to low
Energy requirements Passive movementno energy
input required
Passive movementno energy
input required
Active movementrequires
input of cellular energy (ATP)
Selectively permeable
membrane needed?
No Yes Yes
Examples in living
Movement of:
gases into or out of lungs or
salts into roots of plants
glucose, amino acids, from
digestive tract into blood
Movement of water:
into plant roots
out of plant leaves
out of lungs during
Movement of substances
against a concentration gradient
(e.g. uptake of digestive nutrients
and excretion of wastes)

6. If solution X contains more dissolved substances than solution Y, what process


involved in moving:
(a) water from Y to X?
(b) solutes from X to Y?
(c) solutes from Y to X?
Answer: (a) osmosis; (b) diffusion; (c) active transport
7. If we cut two identical cubes of potato and leave one to stand in water while
other stands in a 20 per cent glucose solution for 12 hours, predict which will
have the greater mass and explain why. (Hint: In each case in which direction
will water molecules move?)
Answer: The cube of potato in the water will have a greater mass because
water will move from a higher water concentration in the pure water to a
lower concentration in the cells of the potato (cells contain dissolved nutrients)
by osmosis. The potato cube will swell with water and therefore have the
greater mass.
8. The terms turgid and fl accid are used to refer to the condition of plant cells.
Draw a labelled diagram to illustrate what is meant by each of these terms.
cell body shrinks
from cell wall (flaccid)
cell contents
gives little support
normal turgid cell
Cell shape as determined by osmotic pressure


Copyright 2008 McGraw-Hill Australia. Permission is granted to reproduce for classroom use.

1. Identify where the oxygen gas produced by photosynthesis comes from.

Describe how it is produced.
Answer: The oxygen comes from water. During the light phase (photolysis),
radiant energy is absorbed by chlorophyll which emits excited electrons. The
energy of one of these electrons is used to split a water molecule into its
and oxygen components. The oxygen atom combines with another oxygen atom
from an adjacent chlorophyll molecule to form oxygen gas which is then released
as a by-product.
2. List the chemical products of photosynthesis.
Answer: Products of photosynthesisglucose and oxygen (and water).
3. Write the overall word equation for photosynthesis.
carbon dioxide + water light energy glucose + oxygen (+ water)

4. Explain why the light-independent phase must occur during the day and not
at night.
Answer: The light-independent phase relies on the products of the light phase
so it takes place immediately following the light phase. There is no light at night
and so no radiant energy is availableas a result the light-dependent phase
occur and without the products of this phase, the light-independent phase
take place.

5. Describe two ways in which plants increase the surface area of their absorbing
Answer: The absorbing structures of a plant are the roots and the leaves. The
surface area of the roots is increased by lateral branching and, in the root hair
zone, by the outer surface of the epidermal cells becoming extended to form
folds, called root hairs. The surface area of a leaf is increased by its fl attened
blade-like shape.
6. Explain why an increase in surface area is necessary for the normal
of plants.
Answer: Plant nutrition depends on the absorption of water and mineral salts
by roots (nutrient uptake) and the absorption of light and gases by leaves for
photosynthesis. The uptake of nutrients and gases is largely as a result of
movements (osmosis and diffusion) which are slow. By increasing the surface
of absorptive structures, there is an increase in the overall rate of absorption of
these substances, which are essential to the survival of the plant.
7. Identify the processes necessary for the uptake of water and mineral salts by
Water uptakeosmosis
Mineral salt uptakediffusion and active