The Ecology Quiz Challenge - 1

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The Ecology Quiz Challenge - 1 - Quiz

Take this quick interactive quiz to test your knowledge on ecology system.


Questions and Answers
  • 1. 

    Which of the following levels of organization is arranged in the correct sequence from most to least inclusive?

    • A.

      Community, ecosystem, individual, population

    • B.

      Ecosystem, community, population, individual

    • C.

      Population, ecosystem, individual, community

    • D.

      Individual, population, community, ecosystem

    • E.

      Individual, community, population, ecosystem

    Correct Answer
    B. Ecosystem, community, population, individual
    Explanation
    The correct answer is ecosystem, community, population, individual. This sequence is arranged from the largest level of organization (ecosystem) to the smallest level (individual). An ecosystem includes all living organisms and their physical environment in a particular area. Within an ecosystem, there are multiple communities, which are groups of different species that interact with each other. Within a community, there are populations, which are groups of individuals of the same species. Finally, an individual refers to a single organism.

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  • 2. 

    Which of the following are important biotic factors that can affect the structure and organization of biological communities?

    • A.

      Precipitation, wind

    • B.

      Nutrient availability, soil pH

    • C.

      Predation, competition

    • D.

      Temperature, water

    • E.

      Light intensity, seasonality

    Correct Answer
    C. Predation, competition
    Explanation
    Predation and competition are important biotic factors that can affect the structure and organization of biological communities. Predation refers to the interaction between a predator and its prey, which can influence population sizes and species composition within a community. Competition occurs when individuals or species compete for limited resources such as food, water, or shelter, and can lead to changes in community composition and the distribution of species. Both predation and competition play significant roles in shaping the dynamics and diversity of biological communities.

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  • 3. 

    Deserts typically occur in a band at 30 degrees north and south latitude because

    • A.

      Descending air masses tend to be cool and dry.

    • B.

      Trade winds have a little moisture.

    • C.

      Water is heavier than air and is not carried far over land.

    • D.

      Ascending air tends to be moist.

    • E.

      These locations get the most intense solar radiation of any location on Earth

    Correct Answer
    A. Descending air masses tend to be cool and dry.
    Explanation
    Deserts typically occur in a band at 30 degrees north and south latitude because descending air masses tend to be cool and dry. As air rises at the equator, it cools and releases moisture, creating rainforests. The dry air then moves towards the poles, descending at around 30 degrees latitude. As the air descends, it warms up and becomes drier, leading to arid conditions and the formation of deserts in these regions. This is known as the Hadley Cell circulation, which plays a significant role in shaping global climate patterns.

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  • 4. 

    Turnover of water in temperate lakes during the spring and fall is made possible by which of the following?

    • A.

      Warm, less dense water layered at the top

    • B.

      Cold, more dense water layered at the bottom

    • C.

      A distinct thermocline between less dense warm water and cold, dense water

    • D.

      The density of water changes as seasonal temperatures change

    • E.

      Currents generated by nektonic animals

    Correct Answer
    D. The density of water changes as seasonal temperatures change
    Explanation
    The turnover of water in temperate lakes during the spring and fall is made possible by the density of water changing as seasonal temperatures change. As the temperature drops in the fall, the surface water cools and becomes denser, causing it to sink. This sinking water displaces the deeper, warmer water, which rises to the surface. This process is known as turnover or mixing, and it helps distribute oxygen and nutrients throughout the lake, supporting the aquatic ecosystem. The other options mentioned, such as warm, less dense water layered at the top and cold, more dense water layered at the bottom, are not accurate explanations for the turnover of water in temperate lakes.

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  • 5. 

    In temperate lakes, the surface water is replenished with nutrients during turnovers that occur in the

    • A.

      Autumn and spring.

    • B.

      Autumn and winter.

    • C.

      Spring and summer.

    • D.

      Summer and winter.

    • E.

      Summer and autumn.

    Correct Answer
    A. Autumn and spring.
    Explanation
    In temperate lakes, turnovers occur in autumn and spring. During these turnovers, the surface water mixes with the deeper water layers, allowing for the replenishment of nutrients. Autumn turnovers happen as the surface water cools and becomes denser, causing it to sink and mix with the deeper water. Spring turnovers occur when the ice melts and the surface water warms up, causing it to mix with the deeper water. These turnovers play a crucial role in distributing nutrients throughout the lake, supporting the growth of organisms in the ecosystem.

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  • 6. 

    Which of the following causes Earth's seasons?

    • A.

      Global air circulation

    • B.

      Global wind patterns

    • C.

      Ocean currents

    • D.

      Changes in Earth's distance from the sun

    • E.

      The tilt of Earth's axis

    Correct Answer
    E. The tilt of Earth's axis
    Explanation
    The tilt of Earth's axis causes Earth's seasons. This tilt causes different parts of the Earth to receive varying amounts of sunlight throughout the year, resulting in the four seasons. When one hemisphere is tilted towards the sun, it experiences summer, while the other hemisphere is tilted away and experiences winter. As the Earth orbits the sun, the tilt of the axis remains constant, causing the seasons to change.

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  • 7. 

    Which of the following events might you predict to occur if the tilt of Earth's axis relative to its plane of orbit was increased 33.5 degrees?

    • A.

      Summers and winters in the United States would likely become warmer and colder, respectively.

    • B.

      Winters and summers in Australia would likely become less distinct seasons.

    • C.

      Seasonal variation at the equator might decrease.

    • D.

      Both northern and southern hemispheres would experience summer and winter at the same time.

    • E.

      Both poles would experience massive ice melts.

    Correct Answer
    A. Summers and winters in the United States would likely become warmer and colder, respectively.
    Explanation
    If the tilt of Earth's axis relative to its plane of orbit was increased 33.5 degrees, it would result in a greater inclination of the axis. This increased tilt would cause the United States to experience more extreme seasons. The angle of the Sun's rays would change, leading to a more direct and intense sunlight during summer, resulting in warmer temperatures. Conversely, during winter, the Sun's rays would be more indirect, leading to colder temperatures. Therefore, it can be predicted that summers and winters in the United States would likely become warmer and colder, respectively.

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  • 8. 

    The main reason polar regions are cooler than the equator is because

    • A.

      There is more ice at the poles.

    • B.

      Sunlight strikes the poles at an lower angle.

    • C.

      The poles are farther from the sun.

    • D.

      The poles have a thicker atmosphere.

    • E.

      The poles are permanently tilted away from the sun.

    Correct Answer
    B. Sunlight strikes the poles at an lower angle.
    Explanation
    The main reason polar regions are cooler than the equator is because sunlight strikes the poles at a lower angle. When sunlight hits the Earth's surface at a lower angle, the same amount of energy is spread over a larger area, resulting in less heat being absorbed. This is why the polar regions receive less direct sunlight and therefore remain cooler compared to the equator where sunlight strikes at a higher angle, providing more concentrated heat.

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  • 9. 

    Generalized global air circulation and precipitation patterns are caused by

    • A.

      Rising, warm, moist air masses cool and release precipitation as they rise and then at high altitude, cool and sink back to the surface as dry air masses after moving north or south of the tropics.

    • B.

      Air masses that are dried and heated over continental areas that rise, cool aloft, and descend over oceanic areas followed by a return flow of moist air from ocean to land delivering high amounts of precipitation to coastal areas.

    • C.

      Polar, cool, moist high pressure air masses from the poles that move along the surface, releasing precipitation along the way to the equator where they are heated and dried.

    • D.

      The revolution of the Earth around the sun.

    • E.

      Mountain ranges that deflect air masses containing variable amounts of moisture.

    Correct Answer
    A. Rising, warm, moist air masses cool and release precipitation as they rise and then at high altitude, cool and sink back to the surface as dry air masses after moving north or south of the tropics.
    Explanation
    Generalized global air circulation and precipitation patterns are primarily caused by the rising, warm, moist air masses cooling and releasing precipitation as they rise. Once they reach high altitudes, they cool and sink back down to the surface as dry air masses. This process occurs after the air masses have moved north or south of the tropics. This circulation pattern is responsible for the distribution of precipitation across different regions of the world.

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  • 10. 

    Which marine zone would have the lowest rates of primary productivity (photosynthesis)?

    • A.

      Pelagic

    • B.

      Abyssl

    • C.

      Neritic

    • D.

      Continental shelf

    • E.

      Intertidal

    Correct Answer
    B. Abyssl
    Explanation
    The abyssal zone is located in the deep ocean and receives very little sunlight, making it extremely dark. Sunlight is essential for photosynthesis, the process by which primary productivity occurs. Therefore, the abyssal zone would have the lowest rates of primary productivity compared to other marine zones.

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  • 11. 

    You are planning a dive in a lake, and are eager to observe not many underwater organisms but be able to observe them both close up and far away. You would do well to choose

    • A.

      An oligotrophic lake

    • B.

      An eutrophic lake

    • C.

      A relatively shallow lake

    • D.

      A nutrient-rich lake

    • E.

      A lake with consistently warm temperatures

    Correct Answer
    A. An oligotrophic lake
    Explanation
    An oligotrophic lake is a lake with low nutrient levels, which results in a low density of underwater organisms. This means that there won't be many organisms to observe, but the ones that are present will be easier to observe both close up and far away. The low nutrient levels prevent excessive growth of algae and other plants, leading to clearer water and better visibility. Additionally, the lack of nutrients means that there won't be as many organisms competing for resources, allowing for a more diverse and balanced ecosystem.

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  • 12. 

    Probably the most important factor(s) affecting the distribution of biomes is (are)

    • A.

      Wind and ocean water current patterns

    • B.

      Species diversity

    • C.

      Proximity to large bodies of water

    • D.

      Climate

    • E.

      Day length of rainfall

    Correct Answer
    D. Climate
    Explanation
    The distribution of biomes is primarily determined by climate. Climate, including factors such as temperature, precipitation, and humidity, plays a crucial role in shaping the characteristics and boundaries of different biomes. It determines the types of plants and animals that can thrive in a particular region, as well as the overall ecosystem dynamics. While factors like wind and ocean water current patterns, species diversity, proximity to large bodies of water, and day length of rainfall can also influence the distribution of biomes to some extent, climate remains the most important factor.

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  • 13. 

    In which of the following terrestrial biome pairs are both dependent upon periodic burning?

    • A.

      Tundra and boreal forest

    • B.

      Chaparral and savanna

    • C.

      Desert and savanna

    • D.

      Tropical forest and temperate deciduous forest

    • E.

      Grassland and tundra

    Correct Answer
    B. Chaparral and savanna
    Explanation
    The chaparral and savanna biomes are both dependent upon periodic burning. In the chaparral biome, periodic fires help to clear out old vegetation and promote new growth. This is important for the survival of many plant species in the chaparral. Similarly, in the savanna biome, periodic fires help to maintain the grassland ecosystem by preventing the encroachment of woody plants and promoting the growth of grasses. These fires also play a role in nutrient cycling and the regeneration of certain plant species. Therefore, both the chaparral and savanna biomes rely on periodic burning for their ecological health and functioning.

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  • 14. 

    Which lake zone would be absent in a very shallow lake?

    • A.

      Benthic zone

    • B.

      Aphotic zone

    • C.

      Pelagic zone

    • D.

      Littoral zone

    • E.

      Limnetic zone

    Correct Answer
    B. Aphotic zone
    Explanation
    In a very shallow lake, the aphotic zone would be absent. The aphotic zone refers to the part of a body of water where sunlight cannot penetrate, resulting in complete darkness. In a shallow lake, sunlight can reach the bottom, so there would be no area that lacks sunlight and is completely dark. Therefore, the aphotic zone would not exist in a very shallow lake.

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  • 15. 

    Which of the following is true with respect to oligotrophic lakes and eutrophic lakes?

    • A.

      Oligotrophic lakes are more subject to oxygen depletion.

    • B.

      Rates of photosynthesis are lower in eutrophic lakes.

    • C.

      Eutrophic lake water contains lower concentrations of nutrients.

    • D.

      Eutrophic lakes are richer in nutrients.

    • E.

      Sediments in oligotrophic lakes contain larger amounts of decomposable organic matter.

    Correct Answer
    D. Eutrophic lakes are richer in nutrients.
    Explanation
    Eutrophic lakes are richer in nutrients compared to oligotrophic lakes. This means that eutrophic lakes have higher concentrations of nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus, which promote the growth of algae and other aquatic plants. The abundance of nutrients in eutrophic lakes leads to increased productivity and biomass of organisms. In contrast, oligotrophic lakes have lower nutrient levels, resulting in lower productivity and less organic matter.

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  • 16. 

    A population is correctly defined as having which of the following characteristics? I. inhabiting the same general area II. individuals belonging to the same species III. possessing a constant and uniform density and dispersion

    • A.

      I only

    • B.

      III only

    • C.

      I and II only

    • D.

      II and III only

    • E.

      I, II, and III

    Correct Answer
    C. I and II only
    Explanation
    A population is correctly defined as having individuals belonging to the same species and inhabiting the same general area. This means that all the individuals in a population are of the same species and are located within a specific geographic region. The presence of a constant and uniform density and dispersion is not a requirement for defining a population.

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  • 17. 

    A cow's herbivorous diet indicates that it is a(n)

    • A.

      Primary consumer.

    • B.

      Secondary consumer.

    • C.

      Decomposer.

    • D.

      Autotroph.

    • E.

      Producer.

    Correct Answer
    A. Primary consumer.
    Explanation
    A cow's herbivorous diet, which consists of consuming plants, indicates that it is a primary consumer. Primary consumers are organisms that directly feed on producers, which in this case are plants. The cow consumes the plants as its main source of nutrition, making it a primary consumer in the food chain.

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  • 18. 

    To recycle nutrients, the minimum an ecosystem must have is

    • A.

      Producers.

    • B.

      Producers and decomposers.

    • C.

      Producers, primary consumers, and decomposers.

    • D.

      Producers, primary consumers, secondary consumers, and decomposers.

    • E.

      Producers, primary consumers, secondary consumers, top carnivores, and decomposers.

    Correct Answer
    B. Producers and decomposers.
    Explanation
    In order to recycle nutrients, an ecosystem must have both producers and decomposers. Producers, such as plants, are able to convert energy from the sun into organic matter through photosynthesis. Decomposers, such as bacteria and fungi, break down dead organic matter and return nutrients back into the soil. This cycle of nutrient recycling is essential for the functioning of an ecosystem, as it allows for the continuous availability of nutrients for all organisms within the ecosystem.

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  • 19. 

    Which of the following is an example of an ecosystem?

    • A.

      All of the brook trout in a river drainage system.

    • B.

      The plants, animals, and decomposers that inhabit an alpine meadow.

    • C.

      A pond and all of the plant and animal species that live in it.

    • D.

      The intricate interactions of the various plant and animal species on a savanna during a drought.

    • E.

      Interactions between all of the organisms and their physical environment in a tropical rain forest.

    Correct Answer
    E. Interactions between all of the organisms and their physical environment in a tropical rain forest.
    Explanation
    The correct answer is "Interactions between all of the organisms and their physical environment in a tropical rainforest." This option describes the concept of an ecosystem, which refers to the interactions between living organisms and their physical environment. A tropical rainforest is a prime example of an ecosystem as it consists of a diverse range of plant and animal species that interact with each other and with their surroundings, such as the climate, soil, and other abiotic factors.

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  • 20. 

    Which of the following is true of detrivores (decomposers)?

    • A.

      They recycle chemical elements directly back to primary consumers.

    • B.

      They synthesize organic molecules that are used by primary producers.

    • C.

      They convert organic materials from all trophic levels to inorganic compounds usable by primary producers.

    • D.

      They secrete enzymes that convert the organic molecules of detritus into CO2 and H2O.

    • E.

      Some species are autotrophic, while others are heterotrophic.

    Correct Answer
    C. They convert organic materials from all trophic levels to inorganic compounds usable by primary producers.
    Explanation
    Detrivores, or decomposers, play a crucial role in the ecosystem by breaking down organic materials from all trophic levels into inorganic compounds. This process releases nutrients such as carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus back into the environment, making them available for primary producers like plants to use for growth and development. By converting organic materials into inorganic compounds, detrivores contribute to the recycling of chemical elements and the overall balance of the ecosystem.

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  • 21. 

    In general, the total biomass in a terrestrial ecosystem will be greatest for which trophic level?

    • A.

      Producers

    • B.

      Herbivores

    • C.

      Primary consumers

    • D.

      Tertiary consumers

    • E.

      Secondary consumers

    Correct Answer
    A. Producers
    Explanation
    The total biomass in a terrestrial ecosystem will be greatest for producers because they are the primary source of energy and nutrients in the food chain. Producers, such as plants, are able to convert sunlight into energy through photosynthesis, and they form the base of the food chain. As a result, there is a larger population and biomass of producers compared to other trophic levels. Herbivores, primary consumers, and secondary consumers rely on the producers for their energy, so their biomass is lower. Tertiary consumers are at the highest trophic level and have the lowest biomass as they are further removed from the energy source.

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  • 22. 

    For most terrestrial ecosystems, pyramids of numbers, biomass, and energy are essentially the same-they have a broad base and a narrow top. The primary reason for this pattern is that

    • A.

      Secondary consumers and top carnivores require less energy than producers.

    • B.

      At each step, energy is lost from the system as a result of keeping the organisms alive.

    • C.

      As matter passes through ecosystems, some of it is lost to the environment.

    • D.

      Biomagnification of toxic materials limits the secondary consumers and top carnivores.

    • E.

      Top carnivores and secondary consumers have a more general diet than primary producers.

    Correct Answer
    B. At each step, energy is lost from the system as a result of keeping the organisms alive.
    Explanation
    In a pyramid of numbers, biomass, and energy, the base represents the primary producers (plants), and each subsequent level represents the consumers (herbivores, carnivores, etc.). As energy is transferred from one trophic level to another, it is lost as heat due to the metabolic processes of the organisms. This energy loss occurs because organisms need to use energy to carry out essential life functions such as respiration, movement, and growth. Therefore, at each step in the ecosystem, energy is lost, resulting in a broad base and a narrow top in the pyramids.

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  • 23. 

    Which of the following is primarily responsible for limiting the number of trophic levels in most ecosystems?

    • A.

      Many primary and higher-order consumers are opportunistic feeders.

    • B.

      Decomposers compete with higher-order consumers for nutrients and energy.

    • C.

      Nutrient cycles involve both abiotic and biotic components of ecosystems.

    • D.

      Nutrient cycling rates tend to be limited by decomposition.

    • E.

      Energy transfer between tropic levels is in almost all cases less than 20% efficient.

    Correct Answer
    E. Energy transfer between tropic levels is in almost all cases less than 20% efficient.
    Explanation
    Energy transfer between trophic levels is primarily responsible for limiting the number of trophic levels in most ecosystems because it is inefficient. Only a small fraction of the energy from one trophic level is transferred to the next trophic level, usually less than 20%. This inefficiency occurs due to energy loss through metabolic processes, heat loss, and incomplete digestion. As a result, there is not enough energy available to sustain a large number of trophic levels, leading to a limited number of trophic levels in most ecosystems.

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  • 24. 

    Which of the following is caused by excessive nutrient runoff into lakes?

    • A.

      Depletion of atmospheric ozone

    • B.

      Turnover

    • C.

      Biological magnification

    • D.

      Greenhouse effect

    • E.

      Cultural eutrophication

    Correct Answer
    E. Cultural eutrophication
    Explanation
    Cultural eutrophication is the correct answer because it refers to the excessive nutrient runoff into lakes, which leads to an increase in nutrient levels in the water. This excess of nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorus, promotes the growth of algae and other aquatic plants. As these plants die and decompose, the process consumes oxygen, leading to oxygen depletion in the water. This depletion can result in the death of fish and other aquatic organisms, disrupting the balance of the ecosystem.

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  • Current Version
  • Oct 12, 2023
    Quiz Edited by
    ProProfs Editorial Team
  • May 19, 2014
    Quiz Created by
    Catherine Halcomb
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