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BIOL 121 Midterm Sample Questions

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BIOL 121
Martin Adamson

Biol 121section 122 The following questions are designed to help you think about the material in chapters 50, 53.1, and 54. Somewhat modi▯ed or as they are, all have been on past midterm and/or ▯nal exams. You will notice how some could be phrased as long or short essay, single word/phrase, or diagram if properly modi▯ed. Enjoy! 1. My exams often contain questions referring to one or more of the Experiment boxes in the text ( for example in chapter 53, Figures 53.6, 53.11, 53.16 deal with speci▯c experiments). The question could cover basic experimental design (controls, treatments, hypothesis, prediction, etc.) or theory behind the experiment (e.g., fundamental and realised niche, inducible and constitutive defence, variety of biotic interactions, etc.). 2. Draw a simple diagram illustrating energy ow in a oceanic environment. Identify photic, aphotic and benthic zones. Use arrows to indicate ow of energy among primary producers, consumers and detritivores, identifying any important energy/nutrient sinks. 3. Draw a simple diagram illustrating energy ow in a tropical rainforest. Identify canopy, understory, soil. Use arrows to indicate ow of energy from primary producers through consumers and detritivores, identifying any important energy/nutrient sinks. 4. N 2s the most common gas in the earth’s atmosphere and yet Nitrogen is limiting in many biological systems. Describe a simple experiment that would test whether N is limiting in a particular ecosystem. Clearly state your hypothesis, describe your experimental treatment(s) and brie y explain how you would interpret results. 5. Outline two scenarios (one man made, the other independent of man) wherein water and nutrient cycles interact. Identify the nutrient(s) involved and brie y indicate the impact of the interaction on the ecosystem. 6. Mark major tropical rainforest areas on the map below; you do not need to speci▯cally name them. What explains this distribution? 7. Which soil do you expect to be richer in humus: that of a temperate forest or that of a tropical rain forest? Explain your answer. 8. Flightless birds (Ratites) are thought to be descended from a unique common ances- tor, but occur in areas separated from one another by impassible salt water barriers: Africa (Ostrich), South America (Rhea, Tinamou), New Zealand (Kiwi) and Australia (Cassowary). What is the most likely explanation for this distribution?
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