AP Environmental Science : Ecosystems and Biology

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Environmental Science

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Biomes

The evaluation of biomes takes into account which of the following?

Possible Answers:

Temperature

Both temperature and precipitation

Latitude

Precipitation

Correct answer:

Both temperature and precipitation

Explanation:

Latitude is not considered in climate evaluations; for instance, the poles are considered deserts based on their precipitation levels per year, meaning deserts can occur along the equator or the poles. Temperate and tropical forests also exhibit similar precipitation levels, but due to their temperature differences, they are considered separate biomes.

Example Question #2 : Biomes

Which biome is characterized by a short growing season, harsh winters, no trees, mostly migratory animal species, and less than 10in of rain per year?

Possible Answers:

Grasslands

Desert

Tundra

Conifer forest

Correct answer:

Tundra

Explanation:

Though grasslands and deserts share some of these characteristics, the tundra is the only biome listed that is characterized by a short growing season, harsh winters, no trees, mostly migratory animal species, and less than 10in of rain per year.

Example Question #1 : Biomes

Which biome contains plants that have adapted to minimize water loss, developing features such as smaller leaves with fewer pores?

Possible Answers:

Tropical rainforest

Woodland

Temperate rain forest

Temperate seasonal forest

Subtropical desert

Correct answer:

Subtropical desert

Explanation:

Don't be fooled into associating moisture retention with rainforests: Those plants don't require such an adaptation since rainfall is plentiful. A subtropical desert, however, is characterized by high temperatures, very low precipitation and warm soils, and thus plants must adapt to prevent water loss.

Example Question #1 : Biomes

Which of the following is not one of the main terrestrial biomes?

Possible Answers:

Temperate brush

Tundra

Boreal forest

Temperate grassland

Tropical dry forest

Correct answer:

Temperate brush

Explanation:

There are many different biomes, but the main terrestrial biomes are:

1. Temperate grassland

2. Temperate forest

3. Alpine

4. Rainforest

5. Taiga

6. Savanna

7. Tundra

8. Desert

9. Chaparral

Example Question #1 : Biomes

In pictures from your family vacation, you see hardwood trees whose leaves have fallen. You know that the region you visited receives 75-250 cm of rain each year. Which biome did you visit?

Possible Answers:

Coastal chaparral

Desert

Deciduous forest

Prairie grassland

Coniferous forest

Correct answer:

Deciduous forest

Explanation:

The correct response is deciduous forest.The unique characteristic of the deciduous forest is that the trees shed their leaves each year. Maple and Oak trees are common in this biome. Prairie grasslands do not contain trees, rather they contain fields of grasses. The desert biome does not receive as much rainfall as the deciduous forest, nor does it contain many hardwood trees that shed their leaves. While the coniferous forest contains lots of hardwood trees, they very rarely shed their leaves. The coastal chaparral biome does not receive as much rainfall, and is dominated by small trees and shrubbery.

Example Question #1 : Biomes

Biomes are fairly distinct regions with a similar climate, plants, soils, and animals. They can occur on multiple continents. 

What two climate factors determine where a biome is located?

Possible Answers:

Temperature and atmospheric pressure

Humidity and precipitation

Humidity and atmospheric pressure

Wind and temperature

Temperature and precipitation

Correct answer:

Temperature and precipitation

Explanation:

Humidity, atmospheric pressure, and wind are all aspects of climate but not the determining factors. In the higher latitudes, temperature is the more important factor. In the lower latitudes, precipitation is the more important factor. 

Example Question #5 : Biomes

Which of the following environments gets less than 25 cm of rainfall each year?

Possible Answers:

Desert

Deciduous forest

None of these

Tropical rainforest

Chaparral

Correct answer:

Desert

Explanation:

The correct response is desert. The desert environment is characterized by low rainfalls (less than 25 cm per year). They are one of the most dry biomes on the planet. The desert biome also has highly variable temperature swings, with high temperatures during the day and low temperatures at night. 

Example Question #51 : Ecosystems And Biology

Which is not a type of forest?

Possible Answers:

Arid

Tropical

Temperate

Polar

Correct answer:

Arid

Explanation:

Polar forests are also known as "taiga"

There is no arid forest, as most arid regions are home to mostly shrub and brush-like plants. Arid areas with trees are not dense like true forests.

Example Question #52 : Ecosystems And Biology

Which of the following has the least amount of rainforest?

Possible Answers:

Peru

Indonesia

Mexico

Brazil

Correct answer:

Mexico

Explanation:

Brazil, Indonesia, Peru, and Zaire contain over half of the world's tropical rainforest biome. Mexico does contain some rainforest that extends into Guatemala, but not as large an area as the other countries listed.

Example Question #12 : Biomes

Which of the following biomes consists largely of coniferous forests at high latitudes?

Possible Answers:

Temperate Rainforest

Savannah

Boreal Forest

Tundra

Temperate Deciduous Forest

Correct answer:

Boreal Forest

Explanation:

Boreal forest, also known as "taiga," is a biome spread across the northernmost latitudes, including Canada, Alaska, Russia, and parts of northern Europe. It is characterized by coniferous forests and generally low temperatures.

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