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Biology Pre-AP 2015
Ecology Chapters 13-16
A. Section 13.1 Ecologists Study Relationships
1. Define ecology.
2. List the 5 levels of organization studied by ecologists and define each.
3. List and describe the methods used by ecologists to study the environment. What tools are
B. Section 13.2 Biotic and Abiotic Factors
4. Make a “T chart” and list biotic and abiotic factors in our community.
5. What type of biome has the most biodiversity?
6. What is a keystone species? Why is it referred to as a “keystone”?
7. Explain why the Pacific Salmon, introduced in section 1, could be considered a keystone species.
C. Section 13.3 Energy in Ecosystems
8. All living things must have an energy source. What is the difference between the energy sources
of producers (autotrophs) and consumers (heterotrophs)?
9. How do photosynthesis and chemosynthesis differ?
10. How might chemosynthetic organisms help scientists to understand how life developed on earth?
D. Section 13.4 Food Chains and Food Webs
11. What is the difference between food chains and food webs? What type of organism is the base
of all food webs?
12. Look at the food web on p.402. What do the yellow arrows represent? Starting with a
producer, list three food chains in this food web. Leave space under each food chain for #13.
13. Label each organism in each of the food chains identified from #12 as a producer, or
consumer. If it is a consumer, then also label it as a herbivore, carnivore, or omnivore. Also
note the trophic levels of each organism (producer, primary consumer, secondary consumer,
tertiary consumer)
14. What is a generalist? What advantage does a generalist have over a specialist?
E. Section 13.6 Pyramid Models
15. Only about 10% of energy from one level is transferred to the next level in a food chain. Explain
why each level in the food chain contains much less useful energy than the level below it.
16. Go to p. 400 and make an energy pyramid based on figure 4.1. Include the % of energy
transferred to each level. Start with 100% at the producer level. Also label the trophic levels.
17. If each level in a food chain typically loses 90 percent of the energy it takes in, and the producer
level uses 1000kcal of energy, how much of that energy is left after the third trophic level?
18. Describe the difference between a biomass pyramid and a pyramid of numbers.
19. How would you draw a pyramid of numbers for a dog with fleas? What shape would the
pyramid take?
F. Section 13.5 Cycling of Matter
20. Sketch a diagram for each cycle and label the key processes in the flow of elements:
hydrologic, oxygen, carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus
21. What are biogeochemical cycles?
22. How does the flow of energy through an ecosystem differ from the flow of carbon, phosphorus,
nitrogen, and water?
23. What elements from these cycles are essential to humans? Why?
24. What is the main reservoir of nitrogen in the bioshpere?
25. List and describe some disruptions to the cycles caused by humans, including algal blooms.
(figure 5.7 p.410)
26. List and describe some natural disruptions to the cycles.
Activity # 1: Ecology Project – Create a Terrarium
G. Section 14.1 Habitat and Niche
27. Differentiate between an organism’s ecological niche and it habitat.
28. Describe the principle of competitive exclusion
29. Go to page 422. Are the frogs in figure 1.3 experiencing competitive exclusion? Explain.
H. 14.2 Community Interactions
30. Define competition and give and example of interpecific and intraspecific competition.
31. Define predation and give and example.
32. Examples of symbiosis are shown on page 425. Define, label and give an example of each type
of symbiosis: mutualism, commensalism and parasitism
33. What type of symbiosis is the relationship between a dog and its owner?
I. 14.4 Population Growth Patterns
34. Read the fruit fly story on page 432. Describe four factors that can affect population size
including: immigration, birth rate, emigration, and death rate and give example of each using the
fruit fly scenario.
35. Two key types of growth patterns include exponential growth and logistic growth. Explain and
sketch a graph for each. Which graph would best describe a population of bacteria infecting the throat
of a child? Which one might best represent a hardwood forest?
36. What is meant by carrying capacity? What determines the level? Can carrying capacity
change? Explain see p 473 for examples.
37. Look at the graph on page 434. What relationship might exist between fish kill events and
38. List some reasons for a population crash, such as the reindeer population crash described on p.435
39. Make a t-chart and list examples of density-dependent factors and density-independent factors
that affect population size.
J. 14.5 Ecological Succession
40. Define succession. Distinguish between primary and secondary succession. List an example of
41. What is a pioneer species? Give examples.
42. During succession, what might become the limiting factor for sun-loving mosses as taller plants
begin to grow?
K. 15.1 Life in the Earth System
43. Explain the terms biosphere, biota, and biome.
L. 15.2 The Biosphere
43. Name four key abiotic factors that affect climate.
44. How are microclimates important to living things? Would you expect an area with several
microclimates to have more or fewer ecological niches?
M. 15.3 Biomes
45. Each biome has a characterized by a set of abiotic factors. Life within a biome will have
adaptations that suit them to those conditions. Using Fig 3.2 as a guide, list each biome and include
examples of plant and animal adaptations for each.
N. 16.1 Human Population Growth and Natural Resources
46. The growing human population exerts pressure on Earth’s natural resources. Make a T chart and
list renewable and nonrenewable resources.
47. Human activities can cause environmental change, which can impact ecosystem stability. In what
ways do fossil fuels affect the biosphere?
48. Explain biomagnification. Are humans likely affected by biomagnification? If so, what foods
might be dangerous?
49. In what ways is preserving biodiversity important?
50. What is an introduced species? How do introduced species have a direct impact on biodiversity and
flow of energy in an ecosystem?