Matter and Energy

Unit Study Guide

Photosynthesis and Respiration

You should know:



  • What the main energy source is for most living things.


  • The equation for photosynthesis: What is required for photosynthesis to occur (three things) and what is produced during photosynthesis (two things)?
  • How do plants take up the three substances needed for photosynthesis?
  • The definition of these terms: stomata, xylem, chlorophyll.
  • Where (in which organelle in which part of the plant) does photosynthesis occur?
  • Whether or not animals are capable of photosynthesis.
  • The importance of this process for humans and animals.
  • The term for the type of energy that is stored in the bonds holding a glucose molecule together.



  • That photosynthesis and respiration are opposite processes.
  • Where (in which organelle) the process of respiration occurs?

Energy Flow

You should know:

  • Seeds are a site of energy storage for plants.


  • At the base of every food chain is a _________.
  • The types of consumers: herbivore, omnivore, carnivore, scavenger - and what they eat.
  • The proper sequence of organisms in a food chain.
  • The role of a decomposer in a food chain.
  • How a food chain differs from a food web.



  • Where you would find the greatest number of organisms and the largest amount of energy when looking at an energy pyramid.
  • How much energy is transferred to each trophic level in an energy pyramid.
  • Whether the amount of energy available is increasing or decreasing as you move up an energy pyramid.
  • Whether the population of organisms is increasing or decreasing as you move up an energy pyramid.

Nutrient Cycles

You should know:

  • How are fossil fuels are formed?



  • What percentage of the Earth's atmosphere is carbon dioxide.
  • How deforestation affects the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.




  • Which element makes up the greatest percentage of the Earth's atmosphere?
  • The major components of the nitrogen cycle.
  • The difference between nitrogen fixation, nitrification, denitrification, and assimilation.
  • The source of nitrogen for plants.
  • How animals obtain nitrogen (the process).
  • The role of lightning in fixing nitrogen.

Symbiotic Relationships

You should know:


  • The definition of a symbiotic relationship and that it occurs between two DIFFERENT species.
  • The three types of symbiotic relationships and their definitions.
  • If given a scenario, be able to determine whether it is an example of mutualism, commensalism, or parasitism.



  • Recognize and define a predator-prey relationship.
  • Explain how a predator population would be impacted if their main source of food (prey) decreased.




  • Define competition and explain the effect of competition between species.
  • Explain the effect competition can have on the size of a population.