Environmental science chapter 4 practice quiz
Terms in this set (10)
Explain how tolerance limits to environmental factors determine distribution of a highly specialized species such as the saguaro cactus.
Tolerance limits are the minimum and maximum levels of a specific environmental factor that an organism can tolerate. The saguaro cactus has very specific and limited tolerance limits, which means that it can't really survive in many environments that don't fit its limits.
Productivity, diversity, complexity, resilience, and structure are exhibited to some extent by all communities and ecosystems. Describe how these characteristics apply to the ecosystem in which you live.
Productivity--not that much, I live in a dry area
Resilience--strong, because of wildfires
Define selective pressure and describe one example that has affected species where you live.
Define keystone species and explain their importance in community structure and function.
Keystone species--species which has a disproportionate amount of influence on their ecosystem.
They keep the ecosystem stable and running, and their removal would affect all species of the ecosystem.
The most intense interactions often occur between individuals of the same species. What concept discussed in this chapter can be use to explain this phenomenon?
Intraspecific competition--competition amongst members of the same species.
Explain how predators affect the adaptations of their prey.
Predators provide selective pressure for their prey to evolve to evade capture better, and in turn the predator evolves to become a better hunter.
Competition for a limited quantity of resources occurs in all ecosystems. This competition can be interspecific or intraspecific. Explain some of the ways an organism might deal with these different types of competition.
1) Changing niches
2) Death of one population
3) Intraspecific; evolution (sympatric speciation)
Describe the process of succession that occurs after a forest fire destroys an existing biological community. Why may periodic fire be beneficial to a community?
Secondary succession is the regrowth that happens after a fire, which leaves a lot of healthy dead matter for new species to thrive off of.
Which world ecosystems are most productive in terms of biomass? Which are least productive? What units are used in this figure to quantify biomass accumulation?
Most productive: rainforests and estuaries
Least productive: desert and open ocean
Discuss the dangers posed to existing community members when new species are introduced into ecosystems.
New species can take others species' niches, or not have sufficient predators/limiting factors so that they overpopulate and drain resources. They upset the delicate balance of the ecosystem.
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