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1.

If the Earth was not tilted on its axis of rotation, the annual cycle of seasons in the
northern and southern hemispheres
a. would be reversed
b. would stay the same
c. would be reduced
d. would not exist
The correct answer is d
A. Answer a is incorrect. The tilt is responsible for reduced and increased incidence
of solar radiation at different times of the year. Without the tilt, such annual
variation would not exist.
The correct answer is d
B. Answer b is incorrect. Without the tilt, the pattern of seasonality would disappear.
The correct answer is d
C. Answer c is incorrect. Without some tilt, annual variation in the incidence of solar
radiation would disappear.
The correct answer is dwould not exist
D. Answer d is correct. Tilt on the axis of rotation drives seasonality away from the
equator.
2. The Coriolis effect
a. drives the rotation of the Earth
b. is responsible for the relative lack of seasonality at the equator
c. drives global wind circulation patterns
d. drives global wind and ocean circulation patterns
The correct answer is d
A. Answer a is incorrect. The Coriolis effect arises from the rotation of the Earth; it
doesnt produce it.
The correct answer is d
B. Answer b is incorrect. Reduced seasonality at the equator results from the relative
constancy of solar radiation input throughout the year.
The correct answer is d
C. Answer c is incorrect. Although the Coriolis effect is responsible for global wind
circulation patterns, it is not the best answer.
The correct answer is ddrives global wind and ocean circulation patterns
D. Answer d is correct. Both wind and ocean circulation patterns derive from forces
that result from the spin of the Earth.
3. What two factors are most important in biome distribution?

a.
b.
c.
d.

Temperature and latitude


Rainfall and temperature
Latitude and rainfall
Temperature and soil type

The correct answer is b


A. Answer a is incorrect. Rainfall and temperature are the two most important
factors in biome distribution.
The correct answer is bRainfall and temperature
B. Answer b is correct. Rainfall and temperature are the two most important factors
in biome distribution.
The correct answer is b
C. Answer c is incorrect. Rainfall and temperature are the two most important
factors in biome distribution.
The correct answer is b
D. Answer d is incorrect. Rainfall and temperature are the two most important
factors in biome distribution.
Hint: There are eight major biome categories (some ecologists recognize more) that
are defined by average annual rainfall (or available moisture) and average annual
temperatures.
4. In a rain shadow, air is cooled as it rises and heated as it descends, often
producing a wet and dry side because the water-holding capacity of the air
a. is directly related to air temperature
b. inversely related to air temperature
c. is unaffected by air temperature
d. produces changes in air temperature
The correct answer is ais directly related to air temperature
A. Answer a is correct. Air that is warm can hold more water than air that is cold.
The correct answer is a
B. Answer b is incorrect. An inverse relationship would lead to air holding more
water as it was cooled.
The correct answer is a
C. Answer c is incorrect. The temperature of the air is the primary determinant of its
water content.
The correct answer is a
D. Answer d is incorrect. The water-holding capacity is the consequence of
temperature change, not the cause.

5. The main cause(s) driving the difference between a tropical rain forest and a
temperate evergreen forest is
a. the amount of average annual rainfall
b. the average annual temperature
c. temperature and rainfall
d. none of the above
The correct answer is b
A. Answer a is incorrect. There are many examples of tropical rainforests that get
less annual rainfall than the majority of temperate evergreen forests.
The correct answer is bthe average annual temperature
B. Answer b is correct. The primary driver is annual temperature. Tropical forests
are warmer than temperate evergreen forests, but many do not get more rain.
The correct answer is b
C. Answer c is incorrect. The two factors do not differ; it is primarily an issue of
temperature differences.
The correct answer is b
D. Answer d is incorrect. One of the answers is correct.
6. Thermal stratification in a lake
a. is not modified by fall and spring overturn
b. leads to higher oxygen in deep versus surface waters
c. leads to higher oxygen in surface versus deep waters
d. is reduced when ice forms on the surface of the lake
The correct answer is c
A. Answer a in incorrect. The spring and fall overturns actually lead to a mixing of
the lake, removing stratification.
The correct answer is c
B. Answer b is incorrect. When there is thermal stratification, oxygen movement into
the deeper waters of a lake is reduced, but its loss due to consumption by
organisms may not be reduced, with the overall effect of low-oxygen
concentrations expected at greater depths.
The correct answer is cleads to higher oxygen in surface versus deep waters
C. Answer c is correct. Surface waters continue to take up oxygen from the
atmosphere, but movement into deeper parts of a lake would be highly reduced.
The correct answer is c
D. Answer d is incorrect. The formation of ice may further the degree of stratification
in a lake.

7. Oligotrophic lakes have


a. low oxygen, and high nutrient availability
b. high oxygen, and high nutrient availability
c. high oxygen, and low nutrient availability
d. low oxygen, and low nutrient availability
The correct answer is c
A. Answer a is incorrect. These are the conditions associated with a eutrophic lake.
The correct answer is c
B. Answer b in incorrect. High oxygen and nutrient availability are often at odds with
each other. High nutrient availability drives high algal productivity which usually
leads to conditions that reduce oxygen (decomposition rates and reduced
penetration of solar radiation).
The correct answer is chigh oxygen, and low nutrient availability
C. Answer c is correct. High oxygen results when nutrients are low, keeping algal
productivity down and oxygen consumption by organisms low.
The correct answer is c
D. Answer d is incorrect. The two factors are usually inversely related, with
oligotrophic lakes being characterized by high oxygen availability and low
nutrient availability.
8. Oligotrophic lakes can be turned into eutrophic lakes as a result of human
activities such as
a. overfishing of sensitive species, which disrupts fish communities
b. introducing nutrients into the water, which stimulates plant and algal
growth
c. disrupting terrestrial vegetation near the shore, which causes soil to run
into the lake
d. spraying pesticides into the water to control aquatic insect populations
The correct answer is b
A. Answer a is incorrect. Overfishing is a problem that affects some lakes, but it
does not turn oligotrophic lakes into eutrophic lakes.
The correct answer is bintroducing nutrients into the water, which stimulates plant and
algal growth
B. Answer b is correct. Oligotrophic lakes can be made eutrophic if excess nutrients
are introduced into the lake.
The correct answer is b

C. Answer c is incorrect. Many lakes are negatively affected by the removal of


vegetation near the shore, which causes problems with soil runoff. However, this
does not turn an oligotrophic lake eutrophic.
The correct answer is b
D. Answer d is incorrect. Pesticides in the water can negatively affect water quality,
but it does not cause an oligotrophic lake to become eutrophic.
9. Deep sea hydrothermal vent communities
a. get their energy from photosynthesis in the photic zone near the surface
b. use bioluminescence to generate food
c. are built on the energy produced by the activity of chemoautotrophs that
oxidize sulfur
d. contain only bacteria and other microorganisms
The correct answer is c
A. Answer a is incorrect. Although there is enough primary production in the photic
zone to support some deep sea life, the hydrothermal vent communities are unique
in the density and diversity of organisms that survive at great depths in the oceans.
The amount of energy from photosynthesis, literally thousands of feet above, is
simply not enough to support such an abundance.
The correct answer is c
B. Answer b is incorrect. Bioluminescence does not generate energy; it uses energy
to generate light.
The correct answer is care built on the energy produced by the activity of
chemoautotrophs that oxidize sulfur
C. Answer c is correct. Whole food chains that make the large abundance of
organisms possible in vent communities rely on the use of hydrogen sulfide by
chemoautotrophic bacteria.
The correct answer is c
D. Answer d is incorrect. A great diversity and abundance of large invertebrates
(especially different kinds of worms) also characterize these habitats.
10. Biological magnification occurs when
a.
pollutants increase in concentration in tissues at higher trophic levels
b.
the effect of a pollutant is magnified by chemical interactions within
organisms
c.
an organism is placed under a dissecting scope
d.
a pollutant has a greater-than-expected effect once ingested by an
organism
The correct answer is apollutants increase in concentration in tissues at higher trophic
levels

A. Answer a is correct. As with DDT, a pesticide may be harmful at low


concentrations, but when it is concentrated by moving up the food chain, exposure
may actually be higher and the harmful consequences greater. In this case,
biological magnification has occurred.
The correct answer is a
B. Answer b is incorrect. Chemical interactions within an organism are usually the
source of injury or mortality for an individual organism when exposed to a
pollutant, but it is the increasing concentration with trophic level that matters in
biological magnification.
The correct answer is a
C. Answer c is incorrect. Biological magnification does not refer to magnifying our
view of an organism.
The correct answer is a
D. Answer d is incorrect. Biological magnification does not refer to effects of a
pollutant once ingested.
11. Which of the following is a point source of pollution?
a. Lawns
b. Smokestacks of coal-fired power plants
c. Factory effluent pipe draining into a river
d. Acid rain
The correct answer is c
A. Answer a is incorrect. Lawns represent a diffuse input of pollution into the
environment.
The correct answer is c
B. Answer b is incorrect. Smokestacks, although localized, put pollutants into a
diffuse sink, the atmosphere.
The correct answer is cfactory effluent pipe draining into a river
C. Answer c is correct. The input of an effluent pipe is concentrated, localized, and
traceable.
The correct answer is c
D. Answer d is incorrect. Acid rain is an indirect source of pollution, resulting from
many prior inputs (such as from point sources) that may be transported long
distances.
12. Statements that CO2 is increasing compared with historical levels
a. are based on theory only
b. are based on data
c. are irrelevant with respect to global warming

d. are the basis for a theory that the Earths global temperature is decreasing
The correct answer is b
A. Answer a is incorrect. Increasing levels of CO2 are not theoretical; they are based
on data.
The correct answer is bare based on data
B. Answer b is correct. Since about 1960, levels of CO2 have been accurately
measured as increasing.
The correct answer is b
C. Answer c is incorrect. CO2 is a major greenhouse gas, expected to help trap
energy within the Earth and its atmosphere.
The correct answer is b
D. Answer d is incorrect. The theory predicts the opposite, that the Earths
temperature is increasing.
13. The loss of the ozone layer has serious implications for the quality of the
environment because
a. ozone (O3) protects organisms from ultraviolet radiation that can cause
cancer
b. a depleted ozone layer causes rainwater to have a lower pH that kills plant
life
c. loss of the ozone layer causes the Suns rays to get trapped in the
atmosphere and increase global temperatures
d. a depleted ozone layer can interact with toxic chemicals to increase their
effect on organismal health
The correct answer is aozone (O3) protects organisms from ultraviolet radiation that
can cause cancer
A. Answer a is correct. The ozone layer helps to shield the Earth from ultraviolet
radiation. UV radiation can mutate DNA and cause cancer and other diseases.
The correct answer is a
B. Answer b is incorrect. Acid precipitation is due to the release of nitric and sulfuric
acids into the atmosphere.
The correct answer is a
C. Answer c is incorrect. The release of greenhouse gases (such as carbon dioxide)
into the atmosphere creates a situation known as the greenhouse effect. Solar
radiation that would normally be reflected back into space becomes trapped in the
atmosphere and causes the atmosphere to heat up. This situation has resulted in
global warming.
The correct answer is a

D. Answer d is incorrect. The depleted ozone layer does not interact with toxic
chemicals to increase their effect.
Challenge Questions
1. Discuss how Figure 58.1 explains the pattern observed in Figure 58.2.
AnswerThe Earth is tilted on its axis such that regions away from the equator receive
less incident solar radiation per unit surface area (because the angle of incidence is
oblique). The northern and southern hemispheres alternate between angling towards vs.
away from the Sun on the Earths annual orbit. These two facts mean that the annual
mean temperature will decline as you move away from the equator, and that variation in
the mean temperatures of the northern and southern hemispheres will be complementary
to each other; when one is hot, the other will be cold.
2. Why are most of the Earths deserts found at approximately 30 latitude?
AnswerEnergy absorbed by the Earth is maximized at the equator because of the angle
of incidence. Because there are large expanses of ocean at the equator, warmed air picks
up moisture and rises. As it rises, equatorial air, now saturated with moisture, cools and
releases rain, the air falling back to Earths surface displaced north and south to
approximately 30. The air, warming as it descends, absorbs moisture from the land and
vegetation below, resulting in desiccation in the latitudes around 30.
3. Rainshadows are expected when prevailing winds carrying moist air intercept
high mountains. What kind of rainshadow would you expect if the prevailing
winds arrive on the windward side relatively dry?
AnswerIf the mountains are high enough, any moisture, even if there is only a small
amount, will tend to be released as rain. On the leeward side, the dry, warming air would
desiccate the soil and vegetation. A dramatic difference between windward and leeward
sides might not develop (such as, forest versus desert) if the windward side never
receives a tremendous amount of rain, but the leeward side would nevertheless be dried
out by descending dry air.
4. What is the distinction between global warming and changes in average CO2
levels?
AnswerGlobal warming is the predicted outcome of increasing CO2 levels in our
atmosphere. Given both recent historical records and records from other sources (ice
cores, etc.), we can be fairly certain that CO2 levels are increasing at an unprecedented
rate. Alternatively, given the complexity of global climate patterns and their sources,
knowing exactly the impact of higher CO2 is difficult but the consensus is that it will lead
to a warning of the Earths surface. Such warming will likely have myriad consequences,
including rising sea levels, desertification, flooding, severity of storms, among others.

5. If a pesticide is harmless at low concentrations (such as, DDT) and used properly,
how can it become a threat to nontarget organisms?
AnswerTwo characteristics can lead to a phenomenon known as biological
magnification. First, if a pesticide actually persists in the bodies of target species (that is,
it doesnt degrade after having its effect), then depending on its chemical composition, it
might actually be sequestered in the bodies of animals that eat the target species. Because
large numbers of prey are consumed at each trophic level (due to the 10% rate of transfer
of energy), large amounts of the pesticide may be passed up the food chain. So,
persistence and magnification can lead to toxic exposures at the top of food chains.