Download Ecosystems Unit Test – Midterm Study Guide 2011

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Integrated Science
Name __________KEY____________
Ecosystems Unit Test – Midterm Study Guide 2011
NOTE: Vocabulary you should know is in italics and/or on other side of this study guide.
1. What is ecology? Study of interactions in nature
2. Given a food web, be able to find a food chain and identify the producers, primary
consumers, and secondary consumers (What eats what???)
Producers (plants, seeds, trees) are eaten by Primary Consumers (mice, deer, rabbits,
insects, etc) which are eaten by Secondary Consumers (snakes, wolves, eagles, etc).
3. How is an ecosystem affected by the loss of a single organism? Good AND bad outcomes.
Loss of a secondary consumer would increase population of primary consumers
(good), but that would be bad for the producers (plants) because too many would be eaten.
Loss of a producer would limit the food for all other organisms, but give more living
space for all organisms.
Loss of a primary consumer: less food for secondary consumers who would die, and
more living space for plants, which would increase.
4. What is the source of an ecosystem’s energy? All energy comes first from the SUN
5. What is the role of decomposers? To recycle nutrients from decaying plants and animals.
Is it part of the energy pyramid? (NO!)
6. What happens to energy as you go up the energy pyramid? Why? Energy decreases as
you go up an energy pyramid. At each level, energy is LOST as HEAT in life processes.
7. Where would you find herbivores, carnivores, and omnivores on an energy pyramid? Be
able to draw and label an energy pyramid.
(top) Secondary Consumers
Primary Consumers
8. Which 6 elements make up 99% of our bodies? Six (C, H, N. O, Ca, P)
9. What is the purpose of any cycle in nature? To move and renew resources in an ecosystem
10. Why is biodiversity important? Ensures survival of life; each organism helps another
organism some how; prevents extinctions
11. What is a population? Number of organisms of SAME species in an area
12. What is adaptation? Give some examples of adaptation. Color, covering (fur, scales,
feathers, etc) that allow a species to thrive or protect itself from predators or get food.
13. What 3 factors are essential for ALL life? Food, water and shelter
14. What is a limiting factor? Relate this to competition and survival. Amount of food, water
and living space and resources; competition is any other organism that wants the same
food source, living space and water or resources. (Ex: both owls and wolves eat mice; or
both mice and rabbits eat plants)
15. Why don’t we run out of carbon (or other elements)?
Carbon (as well as oxygen, nitrogen, sulfur and phosphorus) all move in cycles through the
ecosystem, transforming from one form to another, constantly moving and changing.
16. How can you determine the carrying capacity of an ecosystem? When looking at a graph,
it where the population is most stable over time (s-curve) (usually at the END)
17. What are THREE types of population curves? Be able to recognize each graph.
J curve = sharp growth curve UP; Crash = sharp decline (almost straight DOWN);
Linear = regular positively sloped straight line; S-curve = almost flat line with little up and
down waves indicating a stable population
a. Which curve describes the carrying capacity of an ecosystem? S-curve
18. Be able to draw any one complete cycle in nature , labeling each part, using arrows, etc.
Review and know the CARBON, NITROGEN, or OXYGEN cycle in your cycles packet.
19. What lessons can we learn today from Easter Island and/or The Lorax? What happened?
Easter Island: Inhabitants cut down all their trees to move statues honoring their ancestors;
Topsoil was lost and crops failed; starving people killed each other; islanders could not
leave the island (no wood for boats). The Lorax: businessman cut down trees for his
business without considering the disasterous consequences to the environment.
LESSON in both cases: Use resources wisely, think of the future and replant when cutting
20. Name at least three reasons some animals are endangered today.
Global warming is changing their habitat; pollution; overhunting or predation; loss of
habitat due to human expansion; new diseases
21. What is climate? Characteristic temperature and rainfall in an area (including how it
may change seasonally.
22. What is the “Green Contract?” What is the “Secret of Life on Earth”?
Animals can eat plants, but there MUST always be MORE plants than animals.
23. Explain how killing a sparrow population can result in 30 million human deaths.
The sparrows kept the population of locusts down. When there were no more sparrows,
locusts swarmed the crops and 30 million people starved.
24. Choose a biome (forest, desert, etc) and describe 3 animals, 3 plants and the climate.
Boreal forest: Spruce, birch, aspen trees, blueberry bushes, grasses, fireweed, etc
Animals: Bear, voles, squirrels, moose, rabbits, etc. Climate: Temp -20 to 75 F; moderate
rainfall (about 60-90”)
25. What can a population do if it cannot produce enough of its own resources?
Migrate (move) or Die; people can trade their resources/work for what they need.