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.
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
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?