High School Biology : Identifying Levels

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for High School Biology

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Food Pyramids And Food Webs

In a certain food web, rabbits and turtles both feed off of grass. To what trophic level do the rabbits belong?

Possible Answers:

Mid-level consumer

Primary consumer

Secondary consumer

Prey

Correct answer:

Primary consumer

Explanation:

Producers are always the lowest level of a trophic hierarchy, and consist of the autotrophs in the system. Organisms that feed off of producers are considered primary consumers.

In this example, the grasses are the producers. Both the rabbits and the turtles will be primary consumers.

An organism that feeds on primary consumers is considered a secondary consumer.

Example Question #1 : Ecology

A __________ is considered an autotroph, whereas a __________ is considered a heterotroph.

Possible Answers:

cow . . . cyanobacteria

cyanobacteria . . . cow

mushroom . . . cow

green algae . . . cyanobacteria

Correct answer:

cyanobacteria . . . cow

Explanation:

Autotrophs are organisms that are capable of generating biological energy from inorganic sources, such as sunlight in the case of photoautotrophs. Cyanobacteria are thought to be the prokaryotic precursor to chloroplasts through the endosymbiotic theory because they are able to perform photosynthesis. Cyanobacteria are, thus, photoautotrophs. Green algae are another type of photoautotroph.

Heterotrophs use organic materials from the environment to general energy. Animals are heterotrophs, including cows.

Saprotrophs, many of which are fungi, gain nutrients from decaying organic material. Mushrooms are saprotrophs.

Example Question #1 : Identifying Levels

Which of the following defines a community in ecology?

Possible Answers:

Group of different species that are found in the same location and interact with each other.

All the living things and nonliving things that share a common location and rely on each other for survival.

Organisms that are part of the same species, share a geographical location and can reproduce with each other.

Are all the components of planet earth that are able to support life.

Correct answer:

Group of different species that are found in the same location and interact with each other.

Explanation:

Ecology is essentially the study of all the living things on the planet and their relationships with each other. Ecology can be organized into levels: population, community, ecosystem, and biosphere. A population is a group of organisms that belong to the same species, share an area, and can reproduce with each other. A community is composed of the different species that can be found in a geographical location. An ecosystem encompasses all abiotic and biotic factors in an area. The biosphere refers to those parts of the earth that are able to support and sustain life.

Example Question #3 : Ecology

Which of the following is an example of a decomposer?

Possible Answers:

Mushroom

Lion

Caterpillar

Flower

Correct answer:

Mushroom

Explanation:

Within ecosystems, there is always a transfer of energy, usually from one organism to another. There is also energy transfer between abiotic and biotic factors. The caterpillar and lion are examples of consumers because they are unable to make their own food and must rely on other living organisms for energy. Consumers are subdivided into herbivores, omnivores, and carnivores. Producers are those living things in the ecosystem that generally produce energy using photosynthesis or light. Organisms that break down dead or decaying matter for energy are called decomposers. These are most likely bacteria, fungi (such as mushrooms), and some worms.

Example Question #4 : Ecology

Which of the following is a correct representation of a possible food chain?

 

Possible Answers:

Caterpillar -> Flower -> Frog -> Snake

Snake -> Caterpillar -> Flower -> Frog

Flower -> Caterpillar -> Frog -> Snake

Frog -> Flower -> Caterpillar -> Snake

Correct answer:

Flower -> Caterpillar -> Frog -> Snake

Explanation:

A flower in this example is a producer, which means it will make its own energy through photosynthesis. As a result, the flower must be the first element of our chain; food chains will always start with a producer. The caterpillar, frog, and snake are consumers, meaning they will need other organisms for energy.

Example Question #2 : Ecology

Which of the following is an example of a producer?

Possible Answers:

Bear

Worm

Green algae

Frog

Fungus

Correct answer:

Green algae

Explanation:

A producer is an organism that makes its own food from the energy of the sun via photosynthesis. Green algae is a producer; it has chlorophyll pigments and can make glucose via photosynthesis. A frog is a consumer; a worm is a decomposer; a fungus is a saprophyte; a bear is a consumer.

Example Question #5 : Ecology

What type(s) of food does an omnivore consume?

Possible Answers:

Plants only

Animals and decaying matter

Animals only

Plants and animals

Decaying matter

Correct answer:

Plants and animals

Explanation:

An omnivore eats both plants and animals. Humans are an example of omnivores.

Herbivores only eat plants. Carnivores only eat animals. Detritivores eat decaying matter.

Example Question #4 : Ecology

A certain insect eats plants. If the plants are producers, what is the insect classified as?

Possible Answers:

Predator

Autotroph

Tertiary consumer

Primary consumer

Secondary consumer

Correct answer:

Primary consumer

Explanation:

Organisms that eat producers are known as primary consumers. Organisms that eat primary consumers are secondary consumers, and organisms that eat secondary consumers are tertiary consumers and so on. Autotrophs are able to fix their own carbon from the air, converting it into food e.g., glucose, and need not eat other organisms. Predators are animals that eat prey animals, thus they are a type of secondary (or higher) consumer.

Example Question #9 : Food Pyramids And Food Webs

The increase in concentration of a pollutant as it moves through an ecosystem is known as __________

Possible Answers:

biodegradability 

biomagnification

resistance 

productivity 

Correct answer:

biomagnification

Explanation:

Biomagnification is described as the concentration of a pollutant increasing as it moves through the tropic levels of an ecosystem. For example, if a pollutant has a low concentration in a plant, that concentration will be much higher in the animal that eats that plant. This occurs because organisms do not have enzymes that can break down these chemicals. This process does not occur with minerals. 

Example Question #6 : Ecology

A plant would be categorized in which trophic level? 

Possible Answers:

Carnivore

Secondary consumer

Primary consumer

Producer

Correct answer:

Producer

Explanation:

Plants make up the bottom trophic level: the producers. This is because plants produce energy through photosynthesis. They do not have to eat other organisms to obtain energy, they make their own using carbon dioxide, water and sunlight. 

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