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Unit 10

Vital functions I: nutrition

3. Teaching resources
Unit summary:
Nutrition is the process whereby living beings obtain the
matter and energy necessary to carry out all their vital
There are two types of nutrition. In autotrophic
nutrition, plants, algae and some species of bacteria
produce their own food from inorganic matter. They
need solar energy to produce organic molecules. In
heterotrophic nutrition, animals, protozoa, fungi and
most bacteria get organic matter from the living
organisms that they eat.
In plants, xylem sap is the mixture of inorganic
nutrients, and phloem sap is the mixture of
synthesised nutrients with water.
The processes involved in nutrition are assimilation,
respiration, circulation and excretion.
Respiration is the process by which living organisms
acquire the oxygen they need to carry out their metabolic
Circulation in animals is the distribution of nutritive
substances and gases to the cells, as well as transporting
waste substances away from the cells.

algaida editores, S.A. Authorized photocopiable material.

Terrestrial vertebrates have a complex excretory system

composed of several organs: kidneys, liver, sweat glands and