AP Environmental Science : Niches

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Environmental Science

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Example Questions

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Example Question #21 : Ecosystems And Biology

Some plant species require their seeds to be "activated" by high temperatures, and only sprout after a forest fire. Given this, where in the succession must these species be placed?

Possible Answers:

Climax community

Secondary succession

Declining community

Pioneer species

Primary succession

Correct answer:

Primary succession

Explanation:

A plant that starts to sprout directly after a disturbance such as a forest fire is a primary successor. These plants are called pioneer species, but their location in the succession is in the primary spot (one example of such a species is the Yosemite Sequoia.)

Example Question #141 : Ap Environmental Sciences

A group of species that share common food sources avoid competition by living in different locations. Of which of the following is this an example?

Possible Answers:

Speciation

Natural Selection

Niche Partitioning

Habitat Fragmentation

Island Biogeography

Correct answer:

Niche Partitioning

Explanation:

The competitive exclusion principle states that two species cannot occupy the same niche without one of them driving the other extinct. Thus, species either occupy a slightly different niche, or occupy a different physical location from one another, an evolutionary strategy known as niche partitioning. 

Example Question #142 : Ap Environmental Sciences

Two similar birds live in the same tree, but consume differently sized insects. What is this an example of?

Possible Answers:

Competitive exclusion

Niche partitioning

Resource partitioning

Speciation

Natural selection

Correct answer:

Resource partitioning

Explanation:

Because two species cannot exist within the same niche, if they are to occupy the same geographic space, they must use different resources, or one of them will be driven to extinction. This practice is known as resource partitioning.

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