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PRACTICE ECOLOGY QUESTIONS

1 Choose terms from the list below which best describe the
following:
(a) All the organisms of one species living in a defined area.
(b) All the organisms living in the same defined area.
(c) The place where an organism is usually found.
(d) A self-supporting group of organisms and their environment.
ecosystem, population, habitat, biosphere, community,
environment, farmland

2 What resources are competed for by (a) animals, (b)


plants?

3 What is the distinction between interspecific competition


and intraspecific competition?

4 Which of the following are (a) biotic factors or (b) abiotic


factors in an ecosystem?
competition, temperature, rainfall, predation, sunlight, parasitism,
oxygen concentration

2 Classify the following as producers, primary consumers or


secondary consumers.
caterpillar, falcon, mouse, tree, phytoplankton, pike, cat, grass,
locust, goat, otter, wheat
3 The diagram represents a food web that might occur on a rocky
seashore.

octopus gull

crabs, prawns goby blenny starfish dog whelk

marine
worms

shrimps acorn mussels periwinkles,


barnacles, top shells
limpets
animal microscopic green algae seaweed
carrion
(a) Pick out a food chain that includes shrimps and ends with gulls.
(b) Which are the producers?
(c) Name a primary, secondary and tertiary consumer in the food
web.
(d) What might happen to the food web if all the mussels were
killed by a pollutant?
4 A meal consists of grilled trout, potatoes and mushrooms. Explain
how each item is ultimately the product of photosynthesis.
5 On average, what percentage of the sun's energy, which reaches
the surface of the Earth, is used for photosynthesis?
(a) 100% (b) 10% (c) 1% (d) 0.1 %
6 On average, what percentage of the food given to cattle is
converted to flesh and bone?
(a) 100% (b) 10% (c) 1 % (d) 0.1 %

7 Choose the most appropriate words from the list below to


complete the following
paragraph.
In a food chain, passes from one to another. The of
the is always less than that of the because most of the food
eaten by the is used to produce rather than new growth.
biomass, sunlight, trophic level, photosynthesis, producers, energy,
consumers, decomposers

8 Which two major groups of organisms make up the bulk of the


decomposers?

9 The diagram represents part of a simplified


carbon cycle. Write the name of the (d)
organisms, substances or processes
represented by the letters (a)-(f).
decay
10 What processes (a) remove and (b) add to(c) plants
the carbon dioxide in the air? (e)
(b)
(f)
(a)
decay

11 What part do (a) nitrifying, (b) nitrogen-fixing and (c) denitrifying


bacteria play in the nitrogen cycle?

12 What processes remove nitrates from the soil?


(i)
13 The diagram represents a simplified water rain
cycle.
(a) Say what might be represented
by (i) - (iii). evaporation (ii) soil
(b) At which three points in the cycle are
humans most likely to interfere?
rivers
(iii)

1. The sum total of an organism's interaction with the biotic and


___ abiotic resources of its environment is called its
_ a. habitat.
b. logistic growth.
c. biotic potential.
d. microclimax.
e. ecological niche.

___ 2. An insect that has evolved to resemble a plant twig will probably
_ be able to avoid
a. parasitism.
b. symbiosis.
c. predation.
d. competition.
e. commensalism.

3. Evidence shows that some grasses benefit from being grazed.


___
_
Which of the following terms would best describe this plant-
herbivore interaction?
a. mutualism
b. commensalism
c. parasitism
d. competition
e. predation

___ 4. Disturbances to ecological communities


_ a. are frequently related to human activities.
b. can remove organisms and alter resource availability.
c. can create vacated ecological niches that other species can
colonize.
d. All of the above are true.
e. Only A and B are true.

5. You are most likely to observe primary succession


___
when you visit a(n)
_
a. tropical rain forest.
b. abandoned field.
c. old riverbed.
d. fairly recent volcanic island.
e. deep sea vent.

6. Which ecosystem does not belong with the others?


___ a. tundra
_ b. estuary
c. boreal forest
d. rain forest

7. The region of the ocean in which photosynthesis occurs is called


___ the
_ a. deep sea zone
b. zooplankton zone
c. nutrient zone
d. photic zone

8. After a volcanic eruption, which organisms are the most likely to


___ appear on the newly exposed surface?
_ a. ferns
b. mosses
c. lichens
d. tree seedlings
9. Temperature, light, air, water, soil and climate are all ___________ parts
___ of an ecosystem?
_ a. biotic
b. abiotic
c. living
d. boreal

10. Large regions that have about the same temperature and amount of
___
rain or snow are know as
_
a. ecosystems
b. biomes
c. abiotic areas
d. ecological reserves

___ 11. Which of the following statements is consistent with the competitive
_ exclusion principle?
a. Bird species generally do not compete for nesting sites.
b. The density of one competing species will have a positive impact on the
population growth of the other competing species.
c. Two species with the same fundamental niche will exclude other competing
species.
d. Even a slight reproductive advantage will eventually lead to the elimination
of inferior species.
e. Evolution tends to increase competition between related species.

1. What is the difference between weather and climate. (2)

2. Compare a habitat and a niche. Be sure to include at least


three components of a niche. (4)
3. Define, and give an example of EACH of the following close
interactions of species. (4)

a) Commensalism
Definition:

Example:

b) Mutualism
Definition:

Example:

4. Compare primary and secondary succession. Give an


example of where each type of succession is likely to occur.
(5)
5.

6. Choose one biome and explain how humans are negatively


impacting this biome (4).

Biome: _____________________________________

How humans are negatively impacting this biome:

Complete the table below (2pts for each correct answer).


Level of Definition
organizati
on
Individual

Biome

Biosphere The area where all life on Earth can be found.

1 The graph represents a sigmoid growth curve i k


h
for a population of micro-organisms.
(a) Select the sequence of letters on the curve g
population size

which best represents (i) the exponential f


phase of growth, (ii) the stationary phase and
(iii) the lag phase. e
(b) What is taking place during the exponential
phase? d

c
2 What are likely to be the limiting factors in
a population of (a) green plants, (b) birds? b
a

time

6 The table shows birth rates, death rates and infant mortality for
four African countries some years ago. Which country would you
expect to show (a) the greatest, (b) the smallest population increase
by now, assuming no wars or famines?

Rates per 1000 population


Country
Birth rate Death rate Infant mortality
Tanzania 46 16 125
Gabon 33 22 178
Ethiopia 50 25 162
Kenya 53 14 80

8 State the changes in society which could contribute to a falling


death rate.

9 State three conditions in a society which could contribute to a


reduction in the birth rate.
Self-assessment questions
1029.02
How would an increase in the fertility rate affect the age
structure of a population?

11 The bar charts show the numbers of people of different ages in


two countries.
(a) Describe the age structure of the population in each case.
(b) Comment on the death rates in the two countries.
(c) Which of the two charts is characteristic of an industrialised
country?
numbers of people
numbers of people

A age B age
1. Generally, which of the following factors has the greatest
effect on determining the climate of a region?
a. Air currents
b. Distance from the equator
c. Longitude
d. Month of the year
e. Dominant plant species (1 mark)

2. With the aid of a diagram, explain how the greenhouse


effect maintains temperatures within the biosphere
within a range suitable for life. (3 marks)

3. List three gases responsible for the greenhouse effect (2


marks)
4. From 1960 2012, scientists recorded the concentration of
carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and the average temperature in
Mauna Loa. The data are shown in the graph below, followed by a
graph of global temperature change over the same period.

Based on the graphs, which of the following conclusions is most


likely?
A. Carbon dioxide levels and overall global temperatures will
continue to increase over the next 50 years
B. Carbon dioxide levels should decline over between 2050 and
2100
C. Warm temperatures are the cause of increasing atmospheric
carbon dioxide concentration
D. There is an inverse relationship between global temperature
and atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration
E. Temperatures elsewhere in the biosphere must decline in
order to compensate for temperature increases observed at
Mauna Loa observatory.

5. Draw the classical population growth curve for an idealised


population. Be able to name your axes, annotate your graph and
label and explain the following phases of the sigmoid growth curve:
1. Lag Phase
2. Exponential Growth Phase
3. Transitional/Logistic growth phase
4. Carrying capacity/ Plateau Phase

6. Density-dependent limiting factors are responsible for


slowing down population growth rate. Define density-dependent
limiting factor, and give two examples of density-dependent
limiting factors that could apply to a population of wild moose in
a Canadian National Park.
Below is:
a) A graph of the classic demographic transition model
describing population dynamics as nations develop
economically and socially.

b) Two age-structure diagrams (population pyramids)


(A,B) representing two different nations, Afghanistan and
Switzerland.

A B

7. Explain which stage of the demographic transition (1 5)


is represented by Pyramid A, including a brief description
of birth rate, death rate and population growth rate in
your answer.
8. Explain which stage of the demographic transition (1 5)
is represented by Pyramid B, including a brief description
of birth rate, death rate and population growth rate in
your answer.

9. Which age-structure pyramid represents Afghanistan and


which pyramid represents Switzerland?