Please read each question carefully and answer it completely, using your awesome biological vocabulary and knowledge. The maximum possible points for each question are indicated in parentheses before each question. A complete, accurate answer will earn full points. If a question is partially unanswered or partially incorrect, one point will be deducted. If an answer is mostly off topic (not answering the question), or mostly incorrect, two points will be deducted. The word counts in parentheses at the end of each question are general/approximate recommendations. If your answer is substantially fewer words than this, there is a possibility that you have not thoroughly answered the question. If your answer is substantially more words, you may have wandered off topic. You may refer to resources such as your textbook, lecture notes, homework videos and other resources, and past in-class and homework assignments to formulate your answers to each question.
(1 pt) What is your name? (2 words)
(1 pt) (30 words) What is ecology, and what do ecologists study?
(2 pt) (30 words) What is the difference between a community and an ecosystem?
(3 pt) (20 words) Two abiotic factors are the primary variables that determine a terrestrial biome. (a) What is a biome? (b) What does “abiotic” mean? What two abiotic factors are most important in determining which biome will be present in a region? (c) Provide one example of a terrestrial biome and briefly describe its climate, ecosystem, and community.
(3 pt) (100 words) I grew up in rural Maine, where many people hunt deer and other game. Proponents of hunting explain that hunting laws keep populations in check, thereby preventing massive population loss due instead to starvation. Explain this statement, incorporating the concept of carrying capacity.
(2 pt) (50 words) Does carrying capacity ever change? Use a specific example to support your answer.
(3 pt) (a) (one-two words) What percentage of energy in a food chain comprising a blueberry bush, a mouse (herbivore), and a hawk (top carnivore) does the top consumer actually receive from the producer? (b) (one-two words) Which organism is the “producer”? (c) (10-20 words) What is a “producer”? Provide one other example of a “producer”.
(2 pt) (30 words) Why are big fierce animals so rare in the world?
(4 pt) (100 words) (a) Nitrogen gas (N2) makes up 78% of the earth’s atmosphere. Why are so many ecosystems limited by nitrogen even though it is so abundant? (b) Summarize three major roles of microbes in nitrogen cycling in the Serengeti. (c) What are two factors not related to the direct influence of humans that may affect the cycling of nitrogen? (d) Describe two different human activities that might affect the cycling of nitrogen; how would each activity affect the nitrogen cycle?
(2 pt) (75 words) Earth can support more people who are vegetarians than people who regularly consume meat. Why do you think this is?
(2 pt) (20 words) (a) What is meant by the phrase “greenhouse gas”? (b) Provide two examples of greenhouse gases in the earth’s atmosphere.
(4 pt) (80 words) (a) List at least three ways humans are increasing the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Briefly explain each item you list. (b) List at least three activities that humans can do that can reduce the amount of carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere. Briefly explain each item you list.
(3 pt) (60 words) Explain how carbon cycles between inorganic and organic forms. If you’d like, you may use a specific biome/ecosystem/community as an example for your explanation.
(3 pt) (60 words) How are climate change and food security intertwined? Use one example to illustrate your point.
(2 pt) (50 words) (a) What causes ocean acidification? Describe the process in one-two sentences. (b) What are one or two consequences of ocean acidification?
(3 pt) (70 words) One question that ecologists have argued over for decades is whether populations are controlled by “bottom-up” factors, or by “top-down” factors. (a) What do the terms “top-down” and “bottom up” mean? (b) Say you were asked to study a particular species. What information would you need to help determine if regulation of the population size of that species is top-down or bottom-up? (c) Name two different factors that may result in a “bottom-up” regulation of a population.
(10 pt) FINAL COURSE REFLECTION:FILLER TEXTObjectives: You have done so much this semester and put in a lot of work! This final reflection isFILLER TEXTan opportunity for you to reflect on your experiences and recognize the progress youâ€ve made.FILLER TEXTReflecting on your experiences is a very important part of making your new knowledge usable toFILLER TEXTyou in your everyday life.FILLER TEXTAssignment: For your final reflection, please reflect on your experiences in class this semester.FILLER TEXTPlease write a reflection that is 200-500 words in length in response to the following questions:FILLER TEXTâ€¢ What have you learned from your experiences in Science of Life that will continue toFILLER TEXTinfluence you for years to come?FILLER TEXTâ€¢ How did you learn these things?FILLER TEXTPlease be as specific as you can and provide at least one example to support the statements youFILLER TEXTmake.
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