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Lesson 5 – Introduction to ecology and biosphere
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e.          Which of the following levels of study in ecology includes all other levels in the list?
a.        population
b.        organism
c.        landscape
d.        ecosystem
e.        community

1.       Which statement about dispersal is incorrect?
a.   Dispersal is a common component of the life cycles of plants and animals.
b.   Colonization of devastated areas after floods or volcanic eruptions depends on dispersal.
c.   Dispersal occurs only on an evolutionary time scale.
d.   Seeds are important dispersal stages in the life cycles of most flowering plants.
e.   The ability to disperse can limit the geographic distribution of a species.

2.       Which of the following biomes is correctly paired with the description of its climate?
a.   savanna—cool temperature, precipitation uniform during the year.
b.   tundra—long summers, mild winters.
c.   temperate deciduous forest—relatively short growing season, mild winters.
d.   temperate grasslands—relatively warm winters, most rainfall in summer.
c.   tropical forests—nearly constant photoperiod and temperature.

3.       Which of the following is correctly paired with its description?
a.   neritic zone—shallow area over continental shelf.
b.   benthic zone—surface water of shallow seas.
c.   pelagic zone—seafloor.
d.   aphotic zone—zone in which light penetrates.
e.   intertidal zone—open water at the edge of the continental shelf.

4.       Which of the following do all terrestrial biomes have in common?
a.   annual average rainfall in excess of 25 cm.
b.   a distribution predicted almost entirely by rock and soil patterns.
c.   clear boundaries between adjacent biomes.
d.   vegetation demonstrating vertical stratification.
e.   cold winter months.

5.       The growing season would generally be shortest in which biome?
a.   tropical rain forest.
b.   savanna.
c.   taiga.
d.   temperate deciduous forest.
e.   temperate grassland.

6.       Imagine some cosmic catastrophe that jolts Earth so that it is no longer tilted. Instead, its axis is perpendicular to the line between the sun and Earth. The most predictable effect of this change would be
a.   no more night and day.
b.   a big change in the length of the year.
c.   a cooling of the equator.
d.   a loss of seasonal variations at northern and southern latitudes.
e.   the elimination of ocean currents.

7.       The earth is generally hotter at the equator because
a.   The earth's rotation on a tilted axis creates more atmospheric friction at the equator.
b.   The natural curve of the earth places the equator nearer the sun.
c.   The sun shines over the equator more hours in the day.
d.   There are large oceans near the equator to absorb large amounts of heat.
e.   The sun's rays strike the earth at nearly a right angle at the equator.

8.       At about 30° north and south of the equator there are very dry regions on the earth. Why does this occur?
a.   Cool air falls, is warmed and absorbs moisture.
b.   Warm air falls and absorbs moisture.
c.   Cool air rises and water condenses.
d.   Warm air rises and water is evaporated.
e.   Air flows laterally across the land from the temperate zone.

9.       The earth is warm enough to support life because:
a.   Solar energy is stored in the atmosphere and the earth's crust as heat
b.   Metabolism by all living organisms generates enough heat
c.   Human activities such as industry and auto emissions generate the heat necessary
d.   Plants capture solar energy and release it as heat
e.   Geothermal heat diffuses outward from the earth's core of molten rock to heat the earth's surface

10.    Nearly all the incoming solar energy to the earth's surface is returned to space as
a.   infrared radiation
b.   light
c.   photosynthesis
d.   reflection
e.   a and b

11.    The tropics occur very near the equator because
a.   cool air, which sinks, flow north and south from the equator
b.   water condenses as rain from warm air as air rises from the equator
c.   the earth's rotation causes warm air to be retained about 100 away from the equator
d.   cool dry air is dense, so it sinks and becomes warmed by the earth
e.   both d and a

12.    Higher latitude ecosystems experience more pronounced seasons than ecosystems at equatorial latitudes because
a.   air currents generated by Earth's rotation have stronger effects at high latitudes
b.   heated air rises at the equator, and falls at mid-latitudes, giving rise to distinct seasons
c.   the earth is tiled on its axis
d.   continental mass is greater at the equator, evening out temperature variations in ocean circulation
e.   ocean currents moderate near-shore environments

13.    Rising air ________; this causes water vapor to _________.
a.   heats; evaporate
b.   heats; condense
c.   cools; evaporate
d.   cools; condense
e.   changes in composition, but not in temperature; condense

14.    Which fundamental resources are required to support life?
a.   nutrients, oxygen, sugar, appropriate temperatures
b.   water, nutrients, energy, appropriate temperatures
c.   water, energy, oxygen, nutrients
d.   oxygen, carbon, nitrogen, water
e.   oxygen, water, energy, carbon

15.    Which of the following factors is (are) frequently limiting in terrestrial environments?
a.   Water
b.   Appropriate temperatures
c.   Oxygen and nutrients
d.   Nitrogen gas
e.   Both water and appropriate temperatures

16.    Large areas with similar environmental conditions and characteristic plant communities are:
a.   Climatic zones
b.   Biomes
c.   Ecosystems
d.   Climax communities
e.   Biospheres

17.    Which of the following is NOT a characteristic of tropical rain forest?
a.   Very high species diversity
b.   Vegetation grows in layers
c.   Fertile soil
d.   High temperatures
e.   Arboreal animals

18.    The greatest diversity of plants and animals is found in the
a.   Temperate deciduous forest
b.   Tropical rain forest
c.   Chaparial
d.   Taiga
e.   Savanna

19.    Which of the following is NOT a serious result of destroying the tropical rain forest?
a.   Potential extinction of rhinoceros and elephants
b.   Greenhouse effect made more severe
c.   Loss of potential drugs
d.   Acid rain
e.   Loss of biodiversity

20.    A region with grasses as the dominant vegetation form, widely spaced trees and thorny shrubs, and a pronounced dry season is
a.   Tropical deciduous forest
b.   Savanna
c.   Desert
d.   Tundra
e.   Chaparral

21.    Why do most of the flowers in a temperate deciduous forest bloom in the spring?
a.   Because most of the rain falls at that time
b.   Because the deciduous tree leaves do not block the light then
c.   Because the largest number of insect pollinators are available at that time
d.   Because nutrients are most available then
e.   Because the trees do not block the wind and thus prevent wind pollination

22.    In the fall trees in the temperate deciduous forest lose their leaves primarily as an adaptation to
a.   Changing light
b.   Cooler temperatures
c.   Lack of accessible nutrients
d.   Excess rainfall
e.   Lack of available water

23.    A cold region with evergreen coniferous trees as the dominant vegetation is
a.   Savanna
b.   Tundra
c.   Taiga
d.   Artic
e.   Chaparral

24.    The vast treeless region near the Arctic Ocean is the
a.   Savanna
b.   Tundra
c.   Taiga
d.   Permafrost
e.   Grassland

25.    The tropical rain forest is characterized by tall, broadleaf trees with a very high biodiversity, in part because
a.   soils are very fertile, leading to a great ecological expansion of plants
b.   virtually all of the nutrients in a rain forest are tied up in the vegetation
c.   exposed soil is rich in iron and aluminum
d.   evenly warm and evenly moist conditions prevail
e.   both a and c.

26.    The major limiting factors in aquatic ecosystems are
a.   Availability of water and appropriate temperatures
b.   Excess water and nutrients
c.   Appropriate temperatures and excess water
d.   Energy and excess water
e.   Energy and nutrients

27.    The open water zone of a lake can be divided into the ________ and ________ zones.
a.   limnetic; littoral
b.   limnetic; profundal
c.   profundal; stratification
d.   temperate; taiga
e.   littoral; benthos

28.    Oligotrophic lakes have
a.   Clear water with deep penetration of light
b.   High nutrients levels
c.   Low oxygen concentrations
d.   Dense "blooms" of algae
e.   The largest numbers and diversity of organisms

29.    Eutrophic lakes have
a.   Clear water
b.   High nutrient levels
c.   High oxygen concentrations in deep water
d.   Very little productivity
e.   Few phytoplankton

30.    The benthic zone is home to organisms which are
a.   Photosynthetic
b.   Heterotrophic
c.   Eutrophic
d.   Intertidal
e.   Adapted to high light

31.    A coral reef is the result of
a.   Volcanic activity in warm tropical waters
b.   Rising ocean levels
c.   Skeletons from some types of Cnidarians and algae
d.   Sea floor settling
e.   Cool water settling over warmer water

32.    Organisms that spend their lives in open water swimming or floating are
a.   Pelagic
b.   Benthic
c.   Littoric
d.   Anemic
e.   Profundal

33.    In the unique sea floor vent community, the primary producers are
a.   Sulfur bacteria
b.   Phytoplankton
c.   Tube worms
d.   Plants
e.   Giant snails

34.    Plankton are
a.   drifting plants which include photosynthetic bacteria and algae
b.   drifting protozoa and crustaceans which are not photosynthetic
c.   decomposers and detrital feeders
d.   herbivorous fish and crustaceans
e.   both a and b

35.    Primary producers in aquatic systems are
a.   drifting plants which include photosynthetic bacteria and algae
b.   drifting protozoa and crustaceans which are not photosynthetic
c.   decomposers and detrital feeders
d.   herbivorous fish and crustaceans
e.   both a and b

36.    The profundal zone is inhabited by
a.   drifting plants which include photosynthetic bacteria and algae
b.   drifting protozoa and crustaceans which are not photosynthetic
c.   decomposers and detrital feeders
d.   herbivorous fish and crustaceans
e.   both a and b

37.    The major concentrations of life in the oceans are found
a.   in the aphotic zone due to high light levels
b.   in deep, large oceans due to high nutrient concentrations
c.   in the oligotrophic zone due to clear and clean water
d.   in regions of upwelling and in shallow coastal waters
e.   in the anoxic zone

38.    The earth's ozone layer is extremely important because it
a.   Allows high carbon dioxide concentrations to be maintained so that photosynthesis can occur
b.   Traps heat so that the earth's temperature does not decrease too much
c.   Blocks incoming visible light protecting the earth against the greenhouse effect
d.   Blocks incoming UV radiation which is damaging to animals and causes a decrease in
      photosynthesis in plants and algae
e.   Traps harmful infrared rays


39.    What factors determine the patterns of ocean currents?

40.    Explain why there are enormous deserts in the area of the United States known as the Great Basin, which is east of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and west of the Rockies.

41.    The weather at the equator is both fairly constant seasonally, and quite warm. What physical factors of the earth's position relative to the sun are responsible for these observations?

42.    Western Oregon generally has cooler summer temperatures and warmer winter temperatures than do same-latitude states that are inland; similarly, Cape Cod (a coastal peninsula southeast of Boston) generally has a more moderate climate than does interior Massachusetts. Why might this be true?

43.    Explain why climate is the primary factor in determining the type of ecosystem in an area.

44.    In one area is a desert ecosystem, in another area a tundra. What two fundamental resources are most likely to make the difference in ecosystems between these two areas? Why are these two more important than other fundamental resources?

45.    Why do plants dominate and define communities on land?

46.    Why are most of the trees in the temperate rain forests conifers?

47.    Describe the climate in the taiga and explain how that climate favors the type of forest found there.

48.    Explain, in ecological terms, why cattle ranchers and conservationists have waged battle with one another over cattle-grazing practices in the western shortgrass prairie biome of the American West.

49.    In many parts of the Amazon Basin, farmers have cut the tropical rainforest trees and planted crops. However, these croplands are often abandoned after a few years, and farmers have moved on. What are some of the possible reasons for this?

50.    As large tracts of rainforest disappear due to human activities, the region tends to become drier. Why?

51.    In what biome do plants tend to be spaced very evenly with large, shallow root systems, and why?

52.    Both the taiga and the temperate rain forest are dominated by coniferous vegetation. What are the reasons in each biome?

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