SAT II Biology E : Ecological Principles

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

varsity tutors app store varsity tutors android store

Example Questions

← Previous 1

Example Question #1 : Biomes, Habitats, And Niches

Which biome is characterized by hot, dry weather with mild, rainy winters, some vegetation, and occasional fires?

Possible Answers:

Chaparral 

Desert 

Savanna

Temperate forest

Temperate grassland

Correct answer:

Chaparral 

Explanation:

The chaparral biome is known for being rather dry and for having these characteristics. They are different than deserts, as deserts do not have a rainy season. While savannas are often warm, they have a longer 6-8 month rainy season.

Example Question #1 : Biomes, Habitats, And Niches

Which of the following is not an abiotic component of an ecosystem?

Possible Answers:

Wind speed

Minerals

Molds

Temperature

Humidity

Correct answer:

Molds

Explanation:

Abiotic factors are non-living and molds are living.

Example Question #1 : Biomes, Habitats, And Niches

An ecosystem includes which of the following?

Possible Answers:

Biomes, communities, and populations

Communities only

Biomes and populations

Populations only

Communities and populations

Correct answer:

Communities and populations

Explanation:

Ecosystems are composed of communities and communities are composed of populations. A biome is a larger unit than an ecosystem, as it includes multiple ecosystems.

Example Question #1 : Ecological Principles

1. Largest biome in the world

2. Short, wet summers and long, cold winters

3. Flora consists of mostly coniferous trees

The given statements most closely describe which biome?

Possible Answers:

Deciduous forest

Taiga

Chaparral

Tundra

Alpine

Correct answer:

Taiga

Explanation:

The taiga biome is the largest biome in the world and is characterized by short, rainy summers coupled with long, freezing winters. Due to its extremely cold temperatures, the taiga's flora or plant life consists of mostly coniferous trees that can survive on the scarce nutrients available in the cold climate of the biome. In contrast, the tundra is frozen year-round and permafrost prevents any trees from growing. Deciduous forests, as the name suggests, sports mainly deciduous trees as its plant life. The alpine biome consists mostly of the areas right below the snow lines of mountains and is generally dry year-round. The chaparral is a relatively small biome that is characterized as being mostly hot and dry year-round, with mild winters.

Example Question #3 : Biomes, Habitats, And Niches

Which of the following biomes is dominated by grasses and herbaceous plants, with some trees and shrubs, and characterized by seasonal rains, a pronounced dry season, and often large migratory mammals?

Possible Answers:

Tundra

Desert

Tropical rainforest

Temperate deciduous forest

Savanna

Correct answer:

Savanna

Explanation:

The characteristics listed describe a savanna. Deserts can also have pronounced periods of rain and dryness but are not dominated by grasses and not populated by large migratory animals. Tropical rainforests and deciduous forests are dominated by trees and tundras tend to be colder and may not receive much rainfall, but often have moist soil due to low evaporation rates.

Example Question #1 : Ecological Principles

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

Possible Answers:

low parental investment

high mortality of young

small body size

large offspring number

long gestation

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 made up of interactions between multiple species.

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

Only internal processes control and impact the ecosystem.

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 #1 : Ecological Principles

Which of the following is NOT an abiotic factor?

Possible Answers:

precipitation

vegetation

elevation

humidity

temperature

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 #1 : Ecological Principles

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

Possible Answers:

Large body size

Reproduction at a late age

Slow maturation

Efficient use of energy

Short life span

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 #2 : Ecological Principles

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

Possible Answers:

Parasitism

Natural disasters

Predation

Competition

Disease

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.

← Previous 1
Learning Tools by Varsity Tutors