AP Environmental Science : Ecosystems and Biology

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Environmental Science

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Human Impact On Ecological Change

While human activities are reducing the extent of many biomes, which of the following biomes is actually being spread as a result of human impact?

Possible Answers:

Grasslands

Rain forests

Savanna

Deserts

Temperate deciduous forests

Correct answer:

Deserts

Explanation:

Although human activites are reducing the extent of many biomes, they are causing the spread of deserts, a process called desertification. Rain forests are being felled for lumber or burned down for ranching or agriculture. Africa's rapidly expanding human population threatens the wildlife of the savanna. The tallgrass prairie has been converted to agricutural land. Clearing for lumber, agriculture, and housing has dramatically reduced America's deciduous forests.

Example Question #2 : Human Impact On Ecological Change

Which of the following is a result of the process of composting?

Possible Answers:

Nutrient-rich soil conditioner

Lower-grade paper products

Materials used for construction

Lower-grade plastic products

High-grade manure

Correct answer:

Nutrient-rich soil conditioner

Explanation:

Composting is a process in which purely organic waste is converted into a rich soil conditioner commonly known as 'compost'. The process usually begins with household food and plant scraps, which are broken down over time and added to soil to fertilize the soil and help it retain moisture.

Example Question #1 : Human Impact On Ecological Change

Which of the following terms is not a major threat to global biodiversity?

Possible Answers:

Habitat fragmentation

Habitat degradation

Agricultural expansion

Habitat connectivity

Invasive species

Correct answer:

Habitat connectivity

Explanation:

"Habitat connectivity" is the only term that describes something positive that increases the quality of biodiversity. It is defined as the degree to which landscape facilitates movement and ecological flows important for the survival of other species. Every other term describes things that decrease habitat and negatively impact biodiversity.

Example Question #1 : Human Impact On Ecological Change

Humans can greatly alter ecosystem functions and processes. Excessive nitrogen pollution from humans has transformed many aquatic ecosystems from nutrient poor to nutrient rich environments. This is an example of which of the following processes?

Possible Answers:

Eutrophication

Biomagnification

Bioaccumulation

All of these?

Fragmentation

Correct answer:

Eutrophication

Explanation:

The correct response is "eutrophication." It is the only term that is specific to aquatic systems and the input of excess nutrients by way of pollution. The terms "bioaccumulation" and "biomagnification" describe how substances such as toxins accumulate within organisms and trophic levels—not an aquatic ecosystem. Last, "fragmentation" has nothing to do with the question because it refers to when habitats are parceled apart due to human activities.

Example Question #1 : Human Impact On Ecological Change

Disturbances are normal processes that help maintain biodiversity and healthy ecosystem because they create which of the following?

Possible Answers:

Heterogeneous landscapes

Divergent landscapoes

Uniform landscapes

Homogeneous landscapes

Artificial landscapes

Correct answer:

Heterogeneous landscapes

Explanation:

The correct response is “heterogeneous landscapes.” This is the only answer choice that describes landscapes with different types of habitats. Different types of habitat are necessary to maintain biodiversity. "Uniform" and "Homogeneous" describe landscapes that are very similar. "Artificial Landscape" does not arise from a natural process. 

Example Question #111 : Ecosystems And Biology

Which following field(s) of study is/are related to environmental science?

Possible Answers:

Political science

All of these

Biology

Economics

Earth sciences

Correct answer:

All of these

Explanation:

Environmental science integrates information from several fields. These fields include the natural and physical sciences such as biology, chemistry, and geology; but social science and humanity fields are important to the study of the environment. These fields include political science, economics, and ethics. Environmental science studies organisms, including humans, and their environment as well as their affect on the environment.

Example Question #1 : Energy And Biochemical Cycles

Which of the following most closely approximates the percent of solar energy entering earth available for photosynthetic activity in plants?

Possible Answers:

5%

1%

10%

25%

50%

Correct answer:

1%

Explanation:

Much of the solar energy that enters earth is absorbed by atmospheric molecules or reflected off of surfaces, and a large portion of the energy is unsuitable for photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is powered by light energy that has wavelengths ranging from 400 to 700 nanometers (nm), while sunlight has a wavelength range from 250 to 2500 nm. As a result, only about 1% of available solar energy is used for photosynthetic activity.

Example Question #233 : Ap Environmental Sciences

 

Which of the following aspects of the photosynthetic process accounts for why the leaves on trees are typically green?

Possible Answers:

Chlorophyll absorbs light wavelengths in the purple, blue, and orange spectrums and reflects wavelengths in the green spectrum.

Along with sugars, photosynthesis produces chlorophyll, which is naturally green.

Chlorophyll reflects light wavelengths in the purple, blue, and orange spectrums and absorbs wavelengths in the green spectrum.

Charged electrons, a vital component of the transport of energy in photosynthesis, emit light in the green spectrum when excited by energy.

The oxidation-reduction reactions present in photosynthesis produce a chemical byproduct that is green in color.

Correct answer:

Chlorophyll absorbs light wavelengths in the purple, blue, and orange spectrums and reflects wavelengths in the green spectrum.

Explanation:

Chlorophyll a and b absorb visible light wavelengths in the purple, blue, and red ranges of the visible spectrum of light and reflect visible light in the green range. The green color of leaves is a result of the green visible light being reflected back and isolated from the other visible colors in the spectrum that were absorbed.

Example Question #1 : Energy And Biochemical Cycles

Photosynthesis involves each of the following as reactants or products except __________.

Possible Answers:

phosphorus (P)

glucose (C6H12O6)

oxygen (O2)

Photosynthesis involves all of the other answer choices as reactants or products.

water (H2O)

Correct answer:

phosphorus (P)

Explanation:

During photosynthesis, plants and algae use solar energy to convert carbon dioxide and water to glucose and oxygen. Phosphorus is not involved in the photosynthesis chemical reaction as a reactant or product.

Example Question #1 : Photosynthesis

Photosynthesis is the reverse reaction of what cellular process?

Possible Answers:

Respiration

Neutralization

Combustion

Chemosynthesis

Correct answer:

Respiration

Explanation:

Cellular respiration is the opposite reaction of photosynthesis:

Photosynthesis converts carbon dioxide, water, and solar energy to sugar and oxygen. Respiration uses oxygen and sugars to provide a cell with energy. Water and carbon dioxide are produced as byproducts. Note that the form of energy used in photosynthesis is sunlight, while the form of energy produced during respiration is chemical energy.

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