Mass transport systems

Factors such as size or metabolic rate affect the requirements of organisms in terms of gas exchange. This has given rise to adaptations such as specialised exchange surfaces and transport systems.

In this topic, students need to understand mass transport in both animals and in plants. They need to demonstrate an understanding of the cardiovascular system in mammals, as an example of a mass transport system required due to size/metabolic requirements. Students will need to appreciate the gross structure of tissues and organs within those systems, and how this structure is related to function.

The role of haemoglobin and red blood cells in the mass transport system within mammals is a key concept for A level biologists to understand.

The volume and pressure changes during the cardiac cycle is a frequent question on exam papers, one which is often answered poorly. This topic gives rise to a range of data and could be a popular topic to ask context based mathematical questions on.

An understanding of the function of both xylem and phloem is a requirement of this topic. Students are often asked to interpret information from tracer and ringing experiments and relate this to the mass flow hypothesis.

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