AP Environmental Science : Agriculture

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Environmental Science

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Example Questions

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Example Question #11 : Agriculture

The Green Revolution was a period of modernization and mechanization in the agricultural industry that occurred between the 1930s and 1960s. The Green Revolution increased yield and helped farmers feed a growing human population. The man who fathered the Green Revolution won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970 for his work in helping saving a billion people from starvation. What was his name?

Possible Answers:

Robert Fraley

John Deere

Norman Borlaug

Cyprus McCormick

Correct answer:

Norman Borlaug

Explanation:

The correct response is Norman Borlaug. He is regarded as the "Father of the Green Revolution" and won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970. His work specialized in creating high-yielding varieties of crops, such as wheat, to increase the global food supply.

Example Question #11 : Agriculture

Greg is a farmer in Ohio who has grown either corn or soybeans separately on his large 1000-acre farm field for the past 10 years. Recently, he has heard that growing multiple crops at the same time can decrease his pest problems. If he decides to grow corn, soybeans, and squash simultaneously on his farm field, what type of agriculture would he be utilizing?

Possible Answers:

Subsistence

Polyculture

None of these

Monoculture

Correct answer:

Polyculture

Explanation:

The correct response is polyculture. A polyculture describes a farm that grows more than one crop together on the same field. This is also referred to as diversified farming and intercropping. Subsistence farming is incorrect because this describes a farming who grows food for just his family. Since Greg has 1000 acres, this answer choice doesn't make sense. Monoculture describes a farmer who grows only one crop.

Example Question #12 : Agriculture

Nutrition can impact the quality of life for any given nation. Each region has different nutritional issues based on diet. A child from the upper class is likely to suffer from which nutritional deficiency?

Possible Answers:

Under-nutrition

Over-nutrition

Zinc deficiency

Hunger

Malnutrition

Correct answer:

Over-nutrition

Explanation:

The correct response is over-nutrition. Children that face over-nutrition eat more daily calories than are necessary for health. There is not enough evidence to suggest any specific nutritional deficiency, especially in an upper class child.

Example Question #13 : Agriculture

One of the consequences of human exploitation of landscapes is desertification. Which of the following is not a cause of desertification?

Possible Answers:

Overuse of water supply

Deforestation

Diversified farming

Overgrazing

Adverse soil erosion

Correct answer:

Diversified farming

Explanation:

The correct response is diversified farming. All of the other answer choices involving degrading the landscape, whereas diversified farming restores the landscape's nutrients by cycling the nutrients of the land in a proportional manner, rather than exhausting a specific nutrient/resource by exercising intensive farming.

Example Question #12 : Agriculture

Karen is trying to eat more fruits and vegetables by planting a garden in her backyard. If Karen is planting enough food for just her family, then what type of agriculture is Karen participating in?

Possible Answers:

Subsistence agriculture

Conventional agriculture

Organic agriculture

Sustainable agriculture

Plantation agriculture

Correct answer:

Subsistence agriculture

Explanation:

The correct response is subsistence agriculture. The definition of subsistence agriculture is planting enough for just your family. We don't  that what she is doing is sustainable - she could be dumping chemicals and destroying biodiversity for all we know. The key is that we know that she is planting just enough food for her family.

Example Question #13 : Agriculture

Gary has farmed in the state of Ohio for the past 30 years. He rotates his crops by planting corn and then beans the following year. At any given moment in time, he has a single crop in production in his farmland. What type of farming does Gary participate in?

Possible Answers:

Sustainable farming

Monoculture farming

Polyculture farming

Diversified farming

Agroecological farming

Correct answer:

Monoculture farming

Explanation:

The correct response is monoculture farming. Mono = one. Gary only plants 1 crop at a time so his farm is a monoculture. If he planted more than one crop at a time, then you could call his farm a polyculture (poly = many) or diversified farming. If he was interested in managing his farm for biodiversity, then you could say he is engaging in agroecology farming. 

Example Question #13 : Agriculture

What is a potential consequence of overfertilization?

Possible Answers:

Plant mutation

Crop dusting

Soil salinization

Fungal susceptibility

Fertilizer resistance

Correct answer:

Soil salinization

Explanation:

A plant almost never uses as much fertilizer as it is given, and in the case of synthetic fertilizers especially, the nutrients are also often over-applied for efficiency's sake. This over-application leads to fertilizer buildup in the soil as more and more goes unused. When certain concentrations of the fertilizers are reached, the chemicals in the fertilizer form salts, leading to what we call soil salinization, which is a condition where plants can't grow very well.

Example Question #13 : Agriculture

Conventional farming methods usually include tilling, which qualifies as major soil disturbance. Which of the following is true about soil disturbance?

I. Tilling aerates the soil
II. Tilling can kill soil organisms and microorganisms
III. Tilling increases soil erodibility by decreasing cohesion
IV. Tilling stimulates earthworm breeding cycles

Possible Answers:

I, III, and IV

III and IV

I, II, III, and IV

I and III

I, II, and III

Correct answer:

I, II, and III

Explanation:

While tilling aerates the soil, which makes planting easier, it does so at the cost of killing many soil organisms and disturbing the soil microbiome, leading to soil microorganism death as well. Tilling also increases soil erodibility so wind and other disturbances are more likely to erode away the topsoil.

Example Question #11 : Agriculture

Which of these is a potential problem with monoculture-style farming?

Possible Answers:

None of these

Increased disease susceptibility

Soil nutrient depletion

Increased pest susceptibility

All of these

Correct answer:

All of these

Explanation:

A very large collection of the same species, such as a large field of one type of crop only, is extremely attractive to species-specific pests, which only see a great deal of food. This means monoculture farmers need to use a lot of pesticide. Such collections are also very vulnerable to disease; because all of the plants in a field are identical, this means a single fungus or virus can infect them all very easily. Finally, every plant needs the same kind of nutrient, which means they use up what's in the soil very quickly. This means monoculture farmers also need to use lots of fertilizer.

Example Question #14 : Agriculture

What is a crop developed during the Green Revolution of the 1930s and 40s?

Possible Answers:

Golden rice in Asia

Bt corn in the USA

Salt-resistant rice in Bangladesh

Dwarf wheat varieties in Mexico and "Miracle" rice in Asia

All of these

Correct answer:

Dwarf wheat varieties in Mexico and "Miracle" rice in Asia

Explanation:

During the 1930s and 40s, "miracle" rice and dwarf wheat varieties were developed by Norman Borlaug in the countries named. The rest of the innovations listed came later.

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