Practice questions for Environmental Science

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Of the following people, which is most likely to agree with the statement that an entire ecosystem has inherent value?
Aldo Leopold
________ gives inherent value to certain living things or to the biotic (living) realm of the earth in general; both human and nonhuman lives have ethical standing.
The environmental justice movement began in _______.
Warren County, North Carolina
Later in his life, pioneering environmental philosopher Aldo Leopold would have most likely agreed with which one of the following statements?
Humans are members of the land-community.
Members of the __________ movement would be very concerned about the unequal exposure of members of a certain race to pollution.
environmental justice
The environmental justice movement started because __________.
people realized that environmental damage is not equally distributed among all classes and racial groups; minority and low-income communities tend to contain a much larger share of the environmental damage (such as landfills, incinerators, toxic waste sites, etc.)
ohn Muir, a great American environmentalist, felt that ________.
pristine wilderness should be preserved because “We need beauty as well as bread”
What is sustainable development?
promoting a viable economy while maintaining a viable environment and meeting social needs
Which of the following philosophies is the most anthropocentric?
The three components of sustainability are:
Social, environmental, economic
Environmental Impact =
Population + Consumption
How do energy and matter move through an ecosystem?
Energy unidirectional flows through an ecosystem, whereas matter generally cycles within an ecosystem
Which one of the following describes a positive feedback loop?
Positive feedback loops are more common in natural systems altered by human actions
That all the energy of the universe remains constant, is conserved, neither created nor destroyed, but may change form is a statement of the ________.
First Law of Thermodynamics
A leaf falls from a tree and lands on the ground. Through time, bugs and bacteria consume the leaf. Which of the following statements regarding this scenario is true?
The nutrients from the leaf have been recycled and released back into the soil.
Most energy in the majority of ecosystems arrives as __________ and exits in the form of __________.
radiation from the sun; heat
Some organisms, such as plants, algae, and cyanobacteria, produced their own food by absorbing the sun’s radiation. These organisms are referred to as ________.
Territoriality generally results in what kind of population distribution?
The logistic growth curve can be said to appear similar to __________.
the letter S
__________ is the number of individuals in a population per unit area.
Population density
A uniform distribution will occur when __________.
individuals are competing for an evenly distributed resource such as space
High population density can ________.
increase the incidence of disease transmission and food scarcity
Population distribution describes ________.
spatial arrangement of individuals of a single species within a particular area or ecosystem
A population’s age structure generally ________.
indicates the relative numbers of individuals of different ages within a population
Populations lacking any environmental resistance tend to increase by ________.
exponential growth
Logistic growth involves
Population growth slowing down as the population approaches carrying capacity
In exponential growth
Population size grows faster and faster as the population gets bigger.
When the organisms of a particular population seek habitats or resources that are unevenly spaced, the distribution of the individuals in the population is ________.
An S-shaped population growth curve best describes ________.
logistic growth
An ecosystem ________.
encompasses all the organisms and the physical and chemical environment within an area
An example of a density-independent factor would be ________.
cold weather causing a lake to freeze
Of the following, ________ would represent a clumped population dispersion pattern
a pod of 40 migrating gray whales
Island biogeography is important for understanding habitat fragmentation because ______.
Fragmentation creates habitat islands that function like islands in water
Island biogeography applies to ________
both islands and ecosystems where quality habitat is surrounded by non-habitat
Two species of lizard live on the same tree and consume the same sorts of food. Regardless, neither species is in direct competition with the other. The key to this scenario is that one of the species is nocturnal; the other is diurnal. What is this called?
resource partitioning
What two types of relationships exhibit symbiosis?
mutualism and parasitism
What are the two major factors determining the distribution of terrestrial biomes?
temperature and precipitation
Many plants have developed complicated defenses to protect themselves against __________.
A trophic cascade is the effect of ________ on ________.
top consumers; abundance of lower consumers
When a parasite lives inside the human gastrointestinal tract, absorbing some of the human’s nutrients at the human’s expense, it is considered a(n) __________ interaction.
Which island would have the greatest immigration rate?
A small island close to the mainland
Which of these is a starting point for primary succession?
a surface exposed by a retreating glacier
A cow eating grass is an example of a _____.
primary consumer
When a human eats a steak, the human is acting as a _____
secondary consumer
An earthworm that feeds on the remains of plants and animals is acting as a _____.
Desert and tundra both _______.
have relatively low precipitation
In general, how much of the original energy from a plant is available to the third trophic level (a secondary consumer)?
Secondary succession ________.
occurs after a fire or flood
Species richness is greater on which island?
An island that is large and near the mainland
What kind of interaction occurs when two cardinals (birds of the same species) are trying to build a nest in the same tree?
intraspecific competition
On which island would there be the greatest occurrence of extinction?
A small island far from the mainland
Which list includes biomes in the correct order from those that have the lowest annual rainfall to those that have the highest?
desert, grassland, temperate deciduous forest, tropical rainforest
Many wild orchids cannot be successfully dug up and transplanted because they need the native mycorrhizae (a fungus) in the soil to survive. What kind of interaction is this?
Which statement is correct concerning the process of ecological succession?
After a disturbance, the community goes through a somewhat predictable set of changes until reaching a final state.
Bullfrog tadpoles are often sold as fish bait, even in areas where they do not occur naturally. When people buy 10 of them and don’t use them all, they often dump the remainder into the lake or river. This is an example of ________.
introduced species
How is community-based conservation different from more traditional approaches to conservation
In community-based conservation, local people are involved with protecting the habitat of endangered species, allowing them to still gain benefit from its resources.
Paper parks are ________.
areas protected on paper but not in reality due to lack of funding
Biodiversity enhances human food security because it ______
is a potential source of new food items or new genetic varieties of existing foods
Which of the following best describes an umbrella species?
a species whose protection will result in the protection of a large number of species that require the same habitat
The causes of the current (sixth) mass extinction include all of these, but not ________.
earthquakes, tsunamis and forest fires
The Convention on Biological Diversity has goals ________.
that require biodiversity be used in a sustainable manner
What is the difference between biosphere reserves and other protected areas?
Local people are allowed to live in and harvest resources from the outer areas of the reserve.
Which of the following organisms is the focus of a major captive breeding program?
California condor
The wood thrush makes its nest in woodlands in the northern and eastern United States. As patches of woods become smaller, increasing numbers of wood thrush nests have eggs laid in them by the brown-headed cowbird. Cowbirds live in adjacent open fields and are nest parasites. Wood thrushes are decreasing in numbers because ________.
habitat fragmentation makes it easier for cowbird parasitism to occur
Ecotourism ________.
can increase biodiversity by providing income to areas that might otherwise be destroyed
__________ is the term we use when a population disappears from a given area but not globally.
Biodiversity is the diversity of life at what level(s) of biological organization?
genetic, species, and ecosystem levels
CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) tries to prevent the extinction of species by __________.
asking countries to stop the international trade of body parts of endangered species
A migratory bat species pollinates agave plants in northern Mexico on its way to the southwestern United States where it spends the summer eating insects and reproducing. Farmers spraying pesticides affect these bats, which eat the insects and also feed them to the baby bats. This could be the start of a story about ________.
an extripation
In general, successfully introduced non-native species experience ________.
competitive success against native species
In 2014, the Endangered Species Act of 1973 is ________.
generally supported by the public but is criticized as putting wildlife before people
An endemic species _________.
occurs in one area and nowhere else on Earth
What are corridors?
protected lands that allow animals to travel between islands of habitat
European rabbits were introduced into Australia and quickly spread, reproduced, and became a terrible pest. They eat up to $600 million worth of food and pasture crops annually, and have damaged the populations of many native plants and the populations of animals that eat the plants. This is a case where ________.
an invasive species has reduced the genetic diversity of indigenous species
Global biodiversity exists in a number of patterns. The largest and most obvious of these is that biodiversity is __________.
greatest at the equator and drops as you move farther north or south
Which species is likely the most negatively impacted by habitat fragmentation?
Which of the following best describes a biodiversity “hotspot”?
A hotspot is a region where species diversity is high
Which biome is experiencing the greatest amount of habitat loss from direct causes?
temperate grassland
The field of conservation biology ________.
attempts to integrate an understanding of evolution, ecology and extinction
The extinction of a particular population from a given area (but not the entire species globally) is called ________.
The species most often vulnerable to human impact is the ________.
top predator
Contrary to popular belief, the Endangered Species Act allows ________.
landowners to harm a protected species in one area if they protect it in another

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