In your A-level biology you’ll be expected to compare and contrast mass transport systems. Here, we’ll take a look at the the mammalian cardiovascular system (circulatory system). 

a-level biology cardiovascular system summary revision notes and knowledge check PDF

When organisms develops organs and organ systems in order to maximise exchange (i.e. gas exchange systems), these organisms also need a mass transport system – a network of vessels circulating and connecting large volumes of fluid (ie. blood) and dissolved substances to organs and tissues around the body.

This transport system is also known as a mass flow system. For example, many plants have vascular systems composed of the xylem and phloem; Mammals (like Humans) and other animals have circulatory systems composed of the heart and blood vessels (arteries, capillaries and veins).

Mammals are endothermic animals with a high metabolic rate. Which means an efficient circulatory system is needed in order to deliver large amounts of raw materials (e.g. oxygen and glucose) to cells, tissues and organs. The system must also take away waste products (e.g. carbon dioxide). In order to do this efficiently, mammals have a double circulatory system i.e. a pulmonary system and a systemic circulatory system.

What is pulmonary circulation?

Pulmonary: - pulmonary = lungs

Circulation: - movement of fluids in a closed system.

 

Pulmonary circulation takes blood on a relatively short return journey to and from the the lungs.

 

When gas exchange takes place in the alveoli, pressure is lost. So, oxygenated blood must now be transported to the heart (our muscular pump) which pumps oxygenated blood around the body (systemic circulation).

What is Systemic circulation?

A-Level biology a sumary of the cardiocascular system - learnbiology.net

Systemic: - the ‘body’ / organism.

Circulation: -movement of fluids in a closed system.

 

In systemic circulation the heart pumps blood to the body. Blood is transported through a series of ever decreasing blood vessels (arteries - arterioles - capillaries). When blood passes through a system of capillary beds at tissues and exchange takes place pressure is lost once more. Following the exchange of materials (e.g. oxygen supplied to tissues and the waste product carbon dioxide picked up by the blood). Now, the deoxygenated blood must return to the heart, where the necessary ‘pressure boost’ pumps the deoxygenated blood to the lungs and the cycle continues.

Watch the lesson below which describes the mammalian circulatory system in terms you must understand for your a-level biology. Download the A3 Poster (PDF) and the interactive knowledge check work booklet (PDF) to help you before moving on to the structure and function of blood vessels (Arteries, Capillaries and Veins).

A Level Biology -

The Cardiovascular System (CVS) An Overview.

 

Check Where this Lesson fits into your Exam Specification!

a-level biology cardiovascular system summary revision notes and knowledge check PDF
a-level biology cardiovascular system summary revision notes A3 Poster PDF

A Level Biology - Cardiovascular System: 

Arteries and Arterioles.

 

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Arteries and Arterioles structure and function for a-level biology revision notes and knowledge check pdf
Arteries and Arterioles structure and function for a-level biology revision notes Poster A3 PDF

A Level Biology - Cardiovascular System: 

Capillaries.

 

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Capillaries structure and function for a-level biology revision notes and knowledge check pdf
Capillaries structure and function for a-level biology revision notes Poster A3 PDF

A Level Biology - Cardiovascular System: 

Veins.

 

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Veins structure and function for a-level biology revision notes and knowledge check pdf
Veins structure and function for a-level biology revision notes Poster A3 PDF

A Level Biology - Cardiovascular System: 

The Heart.

 

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The Heart structure and function for a-level biology revision notes and knowledge check pdf
The Heart structure and function for a-level biology revision notes Poster A3 PDF

A Level Biology - Cardiovascular System: 

The Heart Valves.

 

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The Heart Valves - The Heart structure and function for a-level biology revision notes Poster A3 PDF

A Level Biology - Cardiovascular System: 

The Cardiac Cycle.

 

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The Cardiac Cycle for a-level biology revision notes Poster A3 PDF

A Level Biology - Cardiovascular System: 

The Cardiac Cycle - Graph interpretation.

 

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The Cardiac Cycle Graph Interpretation for a-level biology revision notes Poster A3 PDF

A Level Biology - Cardiovascular System: 

The Formation of Tissue Fluid

 

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The Formation of Tissue Fluid for a-level biology revision notes Poster A3 PDF
Check Your Exam Specification
 

AQA A Level Biology Specification Reference: - The general pattern of blood circulation in a mammal. Names are required only of the coronary arteries and of the blood vessels entering and leaving the heart, lungs and kidneys. The gross structure of the human heart. Pressure and volume changes and associated valve movements during the cardiac cycle that maintain a unidirectional flow of blood. The structure of arteries, arterioles and veins in relation to their function. The structure of capillaries and the importance of capillary beds as exchange surfaces. The formation of tissue fluid and its return to the circulatory system.

 

CIE A Level Biology Specification Reference: - 8 Transport in mammals. 8.1 The circulatory system: The mammalian circulatory system consists of a pump and many blood vessels. State that the mammalian circulatory system is a closed double circulation consisting of a heart, blood vessels and blood. Observe and make plan diagrams of the structure of arteries, veins and capillaries using prepared slides and be able to recognise these vessels using the light microscope. Explain the relationship between the structure and function of arteries, veins and capillaries.

Edexcel A Level Biology (Biology A – Salters-Nuffield) Specification Reference: - Topic 1: Lifestyle, Health and Risk. This topic builds on students’ knowledge and understanding of the functioning of the circulatory system and the importance of lifestyle choices to health. The role of diet and other lifestyle factors in maintenance of good health is considered with particular reference to the heart and circulation and to cardiovascular disease (CVD). 1.1 Understand why many animals have a heart and circulation (mass transport to overcome limitations of diffusion in meeting the requirements of organisms). 1.3 Understand how the structures of blood vessels (capillaries, arteries and veins) relate to their functions. 1.4 i) Know the cardiac cycle (atrial systole, ventricular systole and cardiac diastole) and relate the structure and operation of the mammalian heart, including the major blood vessels, to its function. ii) Know how the relationship between heart structure and function can be investigated practically.

 

Edexcel A Level Biology (Biology B) Specification Reference: - Topic 4: Exchange and Transport. 4.4 Circulation i) Know the structure of the heart, arteries, veins and capillaries. ii) Understand the advantages of a double circulatory system in mammals. iii) Know the sequence of events of the cardiac cycle.

 

OCR A Level Biology (Biology A) Specification Reference: - 3.1.2 Transport in animals. Learners should be able to demonstrate and apply their knowledge and understanding of: the need for transport systems in multicellular animals. The different types of circulatory systems. To include single, double, open and closed

circulatory systems in insects, fish and mammals. The structure and functions of arteries, arterioles, capillaries, venules and veins. The external and internal structure of the mammalian heart. The dissection, examination and drawing of the external and internal structure of the mammalian heart. The cardiac cycle: To include the role of the valves and the pressure changes occurring in the heart and associated vessels.

 

OCR A Level Biology (Biology B) Specification Reference: - 2.2.2 Transport systems in mammals: Learners should be able to demonstrate and apply their knowledge and understanding of: the importance of the closed double circulatory system. the structure and functions of arteries, arterioles, capillaries, venules and veins. transverse sections of arteries, veins and capillaries as observed using a light microscope.

 

WJEC A Level Biology Specification Reference: -Requirements for Life: 2. Adaptations for transport. Learners should be able to demonstrate and apply their knowledge and understanding of: Mammal double circulatory system. (b) the mammalian circulatory system including the structure and function of heart and blood vessels and the names of the main blood vessels associated with the human heart. The cardiac cycle and the maintenance of circulation to include graphical analysis of pressure changes.

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