University of Idaho Organisms and Environments  
Precambrian Times, Hadean - Proterozoic Eons Cambrian - Ordovician Periods Silurian - Permian Periods Triassic - Cretaceous Periods Tertiary - Quaternary Periods Evolutionary Timeline

Study Questions

Multiple Choice / Discussion Questions

  1. Which factors are most important in the distribution of organisms?


Additional Questions for Study

  1. What are biomes? What accounts for the similarities in life forms found in the same type of biome in geographically separated areas?
  2. What challenges are similar for aquatic and terrestrial biomes? Which challenges are unique to each environment?
  3. What type of water conservation adaptations are observed in desert vegetation?
  4. How does behavior and habitat selection may play a role in species distribution?
  5. Untreated sewage entering an oligotrophic lake can cause eutrophication of the lake. How does this happen?
  6. As you climb up a mountain, the vegetation changes with altitude. List some factors that may be causing this change.
  7. Sunlight does not penetrate into the abyssal zone where deep sea vent communities are found, so what is the initial source of energy for these communities?
  8. A wetland community supports xerophytic / hydrophytic (circle one) plants.
  9. How is it possible for many different species to live in the same habitat without exhausting resources?
  10. What distinguishes commensalism from mutualism?
  11. Design a simple experiment to test the competitive exclusion hypothesis.
  12. Map out a possible food chain that might exist in a freshwater lake in Idaho.
  13. Using glacier retreat as an example, what factors may contribute to the development of a climax community?
  14. Why does energy flow through an ecosystem rather than be recycled in it?
  15. When is chemical energy produced by photoautotrophs? (be specific)
  16. Some of the colder seas away from the tropics are more productive as primary producers than those in the tropics. Explain.
  17. Why do birds and mammals have a low production efficiency?
  18. Describe the following processes: nitrification; ammonification; nitrogen fixation.
  19. You observe mallard ducks in a small pond. Then you notice a rooster wading out to the ducks with amorous intent. What might have happened early on in the life of the rooster?
  20. What is the advantage to dominance hierarchies and territoriality rather than having everything shared equally in a population?
  21. Ducklings eventually ignore a cardboard silhouette of a hawk that is repeatedly flown over them. What type of behavior is this?
  22. Why are many interactions between members of the same species agonistic?
  23. How has continental drift historically affected the distribution and therefore the biodiversity of organisms?
  24. What does a cladogram represent?
  25. On a global scale, humans have a higher (secondary) production efficiency if their diet is (Explain your answer):
    1. vegetarian
    2. omnivorous
    3. carnivorous
  26. The EPA asks pregnant women to limit their consumption of large fish such as tuna, to once per week. The reason for this decision is that the high mercury content of the tissues in some of these fish may damage their fetus. However, it is safe for them to eat other fish such as sardines, as often as they like. Explain how different fish living in the same area can have such variation in the mercury content of their tissues.