BIOL103 – Ecologists are chiefly concerned

Subject: Biology / General Biology
Ecologists are chiefly concerned with the ________ and ________ of living things in the environment.

Question 1 options:

ancestry; similarities

[icon name=”check” class=”” unprefixed_class=””] distribution; abundance

cells; molecules

behavior; genetics



Question 2 (5 points)

The Karner blue butterfly lays its eggs on wild lupine plants. When the larvae hatch, they feed exclusively on the wild lupine. A study of this interaction occurs at what level of ecology?

Question 2 options:

[icon name=”check” class=”” unprefixed_class=””] population ecology

ecosystem ecology

community ecology

biosphere ecology



Question 3 (5 points)

Designating a species a K-selected species means that the species likely exhibits which set of characteristics?

Question 3 options:

long gestation, small birth number, large offspring, late maturation

short gestation, large birth number, small offspring, early maturation

lays eggs instead of giving live birth, has short life span, type II survivorship curve

live birth, short life span, either type I or type II survivorship curve

Question 4 (5 points)

Aphids and ants often have a close relationship as shown in this photo.The greenish insects are aphids.They are sluggish, soft-bodied insects that use piercing mouthparts to obtain sap (phloem) from plant hosts.To get the proteins they need, aphids must process a lot of sugary sap. They excrete a sweet fluid called honeydew as waste. Agile, quick ants swarm over the aphid colony, drinking the honeydew. Ants often protect their aphid “herds” from predators and may provide other services; for example they may move the flightless aphids from plant to plant. Plants often suffer reduced survival and growth when infested with aphids, particularly when aphids carry viral or bacterial diseases to their hosts. By rowe_becky(flickr) (Myrmicaruginodis and aphids CC BY 2.0)

What is the relationship between aphid and ant?

Question 4 options:







Question 5 (5 points)

A field ecologist is studying a sage plant (Salvia leucophylla) that grows wild in Southern California. She notices the characteristic uniform dispersion of the plants in all of the quadrats she has mapped out. What is a likely explanation for this dispersion pattern?

Question 5 options:

This plant drops its relatively heavy seeds straight to the ground immediately around it

This plant secretes a chemical that inhibits the growth of nearby plants

This plant relies on wind to disperse its relatively lightweight seeds

This plant relies on animals to disperse its seeds far from the mother plant



Question 6 (5 points)

A population—birds, for example—that experiences a roughly uniform mortality rate across its lifespan will typically exhibit what type of survivorship curve?

Question 6 options:

Type II, linear

Type I, convex

Type III, concave

Any of the three types


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Question 7 (5 points)

If a population exhibits a death rate that exceeds its birth rate, it is likely to ________.

Question 7 options:

remain constant in size

increase in size

decrease in size

become an invasive species


Question 8 (5 points)

The principle that states that two different species cannot occupy the same niche in a given habitat is called what?

Question 8 options:

Pauli exclusion

competitive exclusion

mutual exclusion

intraspecific competition


Question 9 (5 points)

What are the two primary parameters used to describe a population within a given habitat at a given point in time?

Question 9 options:

population range and life expectancy

population size and density

population birth and death rates

population growth and reproduction rates


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Which of the following statements about the sulfur cycle is FALSE?

Question 10 options:

Animals obtain needed sulfur by eating other animals or plants.

The burning of fossil fuels results in the emission of a sulfur containing gas that contribute to acid rain

Cellular respiration is an important metabolic process that moves sulfur from living organisms into the atmosphere the sulfur cycle

Sulfur moves from the earth into the atmosphere during volcanic eruptions



Question 11 (5 points)

What is a foundation species?

Question 11 options:

A foundation species is one that can safely disappear once the ecosystem is established.

A foundation species is one that first colonized an ecosystem and slowly made the environment hospitable for other species.

A foundation species is one that exerts the greatest influence on the overall structure of an ecosystem.

A foundation species is a species not native to an area that can become invasive.



Question 12 (5 points)

Limited resources is affecting population growth in a habitat. What type of modeling does best represent this scenario?

Question 12 options:

logistic modeling

exponential modeling

linear modeling

climate modeling


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Plants require nitrogen for life, but only certain forms of soil nitrogen are accessible to most plants. Which forms are directly useful to plants, and from where do these come?

Question 13 options:

NH4+ and NO3- from ammonification to form ammonium cations and nitrification to form nitrate anions

N2 and organic nitrogen (nitrogen bound to carbon-based molecules) from denitrification to form molecular nitrogen and biosynthesis to form organic nitrogen

NO2- from nitrification to form nitrite anions

Nitrogen containing proteins released from dead organisms by decomposers



Question 14 (5 points)

After a disturbance such as a wildfire, an ecosystem will undergo changes until it reaches a state of equilibrium similar to its pre-disturbance state. The ecosystem is said to have reached what?

Question 14 options:

primary succession


climax community

secondary succession


Question 15 (5 points)

What is an ecosystem?

Question 15 options:

An ecosystem is the physical features of various parts of the globe that support life.

An ecosystem is a community of living organisms and their interactions with their abiotic environment.

An ecosystem is the biological component of any given zone or region of the planet’s surface.

An ecosystem is all the communities within a specific area.


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Question 16 (5 points)

Which of the following correctly identifies an abiotic factor influencing the distribution of biomes?

Question 16 options:

the amount and type of bacteria present in a given patch of soil

the total number of plant-eating insects in a given space

elevation of a land mass above sea level*

the total number of species in a given area



Question 17 (5 points)

Consider the following food chain: A barn owl eats a shrew. This shrew has eaten a grasshopper. The grasshopper has eaten the leaves of a clover plant and a maple tree. What organisms are on the first trophic level?

Question 17 options:

The barn owl

The shrew

The grasshopper

The barn owl, the shrew and the grasshopper

The clover plant and maple tree



Question 18 (5 points)

What does the majority of climate scientists believe is the cause of the current change in climate on earth?

Question 18 options:

an enhancement of the greenhouse effect

our decreased reliance on fossil fuels for energy

a thinning of the ozone layer

melting of the polar ice caps

an increase in solar radiation


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Which of the following activities decreases greenhouse gases in the atmosphere?

Question 19 options:

Cutting down trees.

Driving gasoline-powered vehicles.

Using electricity from coal power plants.

Planting trees.

Heating your home with an oil furnace.



Question 20 (5 points)

A common theme in biology is that energy flows through biological systems while matter __________.

Question 20 options:



is destroyed.

is created.

remain unchanged.


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