Ecology MCQs

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Approximately how many kilograms (kg) of carnivore (secondary consumer) biomass can be supported by a field plot containing 1000 kg of plant material?

  • A. 1000
  • B. 100
  • C. 10
  • D. 1
  • Correct Answer: Option C

Some birds follow moving swarms of army ants in the tropics. As the ants march along the forest floor hunting insects and small vertebrates, birds follow and pick off any insects or small vertebrates that fly or jump out of the way of the ants. This situation is an example of what kind of species interaction between the birds and the ants?

  • A. consumption
  • B. commensalism
  • C. parasitism
  • D. mutualism
  • Correct Answer: Option B

Which of the following statements regarding the future of populations in developing, less industrialized countries are correct?

I) The reproductive rates are predicted to remain below replacement level.
II) Survivorship will increase.
III) Overall population size will increase dramatically.
IV) The fertility rate is predicted to remain high, especially in some regions.
  • A. only I and III
  • B. only II and IV
  • C. only II, III, and IV
  • D. only I, II, and III
  • Correct Answer: Option C

Zoonotic disease ________.

  • A. is caused by suborganismal pathogens such as viruses, viroids, and prions only
  • B. is caused by pathogens that are transferred from other animals to humans by direct contact or by means of a vector
  • C. can only be spread from animals to humans through direct contact
  • D. can only be transferred from animals to humans by means of an intermediate host
  • Correct Answer: Option B

According to the island equilibrium model, species richness would be lowest on an island that is ________.

  • A. large and close to a mainland
  • B. large and remote
  • C. small and remote
  • D. small and close to a mainland
  • Correct Answer: Option C

Which of the following statements is a likely explanation for why invasive species take over communities into which they have been introduced?

  • A. Invasive species are less efficient than native species in competing for the limited resources of the environment.
  • B. Invasive species are not held in check by the predators and agents of disease that have always been in place for native species.
  • C. Invasive species have a higher reproductive potential than native species.
  • D. Invasive species come from geographically isolated regions, so when they are introduced to regions where there is more competition, they thrive.
  • Correct Answer: Option B

According to bottom-up and top-down control models of community organization, which of the following expressions would imply that an increase in the size of a carnivore (C) population would negatively impact its prey (P) population, but not vice versa? The arrows between species indicate a negative impact toward the population at the arrowhead.

  • A. P ← C
  • B. P → C
  • C. C ↔ P
  • D. P ← C → P
  • Correct Answer: Option A

Recall that Clements’s view of biological communities is that of a highly predictable and interrelated structure, while Gleason’s view of biological communities is that individual species operate independently. If we set up many identical sterilized ponds in the same area and allowed them to be colonized, what result should we expect Gleason had a more accurate view of communities than did Clement’s hypothesis?

  • A. Identical plankton communities will develop in all ponds.
  • B. Similar plankton communities will develop in all ponds.
  • C. Different plankton communities will develop in all ponds.
  • D. Limited plankton communities will develop in all ponds.
  • Correct Answer: Option C

Keystone predators can maintain species diversity in a community if they ________.

  • A. competitively exclude other predators
  • B. prey on the community's dominant species
  • C. allow immigration of other predators
  • D. prey only on the least abundant species in the community
  • Correct Answer: Option B

Which of the following best describes the consequences of white-band disease in Caribbean coral reefs?

  • A. Staghorn coral is decimated by the pathogen, and Elkhorn coral takes its place.
  • B. Key habitat for lobsters, snappers, and other reef fishes improves.
  • C. Algal species take the place of the dead coral, and the fish community is dominated by herbivores.
  • D. Algal species take over and the overall reef diversity increases due to increases in primary productivity.
  • Correct Answer: Option C