SAT II Biology E : Communities and Populations

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for SAT II Biology E

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Communities And Populations

R-strategists are known for all of the following except __________.

Possible Answers:

low parental investment

small body size

high mortality of young

long gestation

large offspring number

Correct answer:

long gestation

Explanation:

R-strategists are known for producing large numbers of offspring, though few live to maturity. This is a result of low parental investment, competition, etc. Despite such a large number of offspring, the gestation period for these species is generally shorter than that of K-strategists. For instance, the gestation period of mice is much shorter than the nine months seen in humans.

Example Question #2 : Communities And Populations

Which of the following is not true about an ecosystem?

Possible Answers:

An ecosystem describes the biotic and abiotic factors of the environment interacting.

An ecosystem is not static: it can change over time.

Only internal processes control and impact the ecosystem.

An ecosystem is made up of interactions between multiple species.

Ecosystems can be terrestrial or aquatic. 

Correct answer:

Only internal processes control and impact the ecosystem.

Explanation:

External process also affect the ecosystem. For example, climate is a very important external factor that will affect temperature and precipitation within the ecosystem.

Example Question #3 : Communities And Populations

Which of the following is NOT an abiotic factor?

Possible Answers:

elevation

humidity

temperature

vegetation

precipitation

Correct answer:

vegetation

Explanation:

Abiotic factors are the non-living components of an ecosystem. Biotic factors are living things, such as vegetation (the correct answer because it is the only living thing among the answer choices and therefore NOT abiotic).

Example Question #4 : Communities And Populations

Which of the following is not generally a characteristic of an organism that is a k-strategist?

Possible Answers:

Slow maturation

Efficient use of energy

Large body size

Short life span

Reproduction at a late age

Correct answer:

Short life span

Explanation:

"k" and "r" refer to two different reproductive strategies. K-strategists tend to occupy a more stable environment and have a larger body size as adults and at birth, fewer offspring, longer life spans, more efficient use of energy, later age of reproduction, slower maturation, more parental care, and longer gestation times. The question asked which characteristic is not generally true of k-strategists, and the correct answer is "shorter life spans," which describes r-strategists instead.

Example Question #5 : Communities And Populations

Which of the following is NOT an example of a density-dependent factor?

Possible Answers:

Parasitism

Natural disasters

Disease

Predation

Competition

Correct answer:

Natural disasters

Explanation:

Density-dependent factors are factors that affect population growth only when the population reaches a certain level, and are strongest in a large, dense population and weakest in small, scattered populations. Disease, parasitism, competition, and predation all vary with population density. Natural disasters are the one choice that are density-independent, meaning they affect all populations similarly regardless of size/density.

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