AP Environmental Science Test: Population

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Question 1
A variable that influences an individual’s probability of survival and reproduction in a manner that depends on the size of the population is known as

A
Carrying capacity
B
Limiting resource
C
Density-independent factor
D
Density-dependent factor
E
Age structure
Question 1 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (D). A factor that influences an individual’s probability of survival and reproduction in a manner that depends on the size of the population is known as a density-dependent factor. The word “density” describes population concentration in a specific area.
Question 2
A country with a greater number of younger people than older people has an age structure diagram that resembles which of the following?

A
a pyramid
B
a column
C
an inverted pyramid
D
an inverted column
E
a kite
Question 2 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (A). An age structure diagram, also known as a population pyramid, displays the distribution of ages in a population. A country with a greater number of younger people than older people has an age structure diagram that is widest at the bottom and narrowest at the top; this most closely resembles a pyramid. This situation, a larger number of younger people, represents a growing population.
Question 3
According to the theory of demographic transition, a country in phase 1 demographic transition will experience which of the following?

A
declining population growth
B
stable population growth
C
rapid population growth
D
slow population growth
E
no population growth
Question 3 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (D). According to the theory of demographic transition, a country in phase 1 demographic transition will experience slow population growth because both the birth rate and the death rate are high. Phase 2 is marked by rapid population growth resulting from advancements leading to extended life spans and sustained birth rates. Phase 3 is marked by lower population growth; in Phase 4 birth and death rates are low and relatively equal maintaining a relatively stable population; Phase 5 shows declining population growth.
Question 4
The IPAT equation was developed to estimate

A
the affluence of a country’s population.
B
the rate of demographic transition.
C
the impact of human lifestyles on Earth.
D
the gross domestic product of a country.
E
the effect of urbanization on resource use.
Question 4 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (C). The IPAT equation, or I = P × A × T, was developed to estimate the impact of human beings on the environment of Earth.

I = Impact
P = Population Size
A = Affluence of the People
T = Technological Advancements of the Population.

As a whole, the equation is an attempt at quantifying the degree to which the environment degrades in response to the variables of population, wealth, and technology.

This equation has been subject to a fair amount of criticism, and alternative models such as the Environmental Kuznets Curve have been put forth. Under this hypothesis, technological change and economic growth may initially cause environmental deterioration, but eventually they help create an environmental transition—after which they become a part of the solution to environmental problems. Once basic needs are met, greater wealth can be used to employ cleaner technologies, and environmental degradation can be halted and then reversed.
Question 5
In a Type I survivorship curve, the number of survivors remains stable, but eventually decreases sharply at a particular upper age limit. In a Type II survivorship curve, the number of survivors steadily decreases proportionally with an increase in age.
 
Which of the following inferences can be drawn from the descriptions of survivorship curves provided above?

A
Type I could represent a house mouse, which is a typical r-selected species.
B
Type II could be the average of r-selected and K-selected species in a specific area.
C
Type II could represent elephants, which are typical K-selected species.
D
Type I could represent an oak tree species that experiences very low survivorship early and late in life.
E
Type II could represent a coral species that exhibits a constant decline in survivorship throughout its life.
Question 5 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (E). In a Type I survivorship curve, a population shows a high survival rate throughout most of its life span, but then individuals start to die in large numbers as they approach old age. Species exhibiting type I survivorship curves include K-selected species such as elephants, whales, and humans, that all show low numbers of offspring that tend to have long life spans. In contrast, a type II survivorship curve displays a relatively constant decline in survivorship of individuals. A coral species would be a Type II species due to a death rate independent of age.
Question 6
A country has a Net Immigration Rate of 3 per 1,000; a Crude Birth Rate (CBR) of 9 per 1,000; and a Crude Death Rate (CDR) of 11 per 1,000. What is the growth rate of this country?

A
0.1%
B
0.2%
C
0.5%
D
1%
E
2%
Question 6 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (A). According to the question, CBR = 9 per 1000; CDR = 11 per 1000; and Net immigration (which is equivalent to Immigration minus Emigration) at a rate of 3 per 1000.

The national population growth rate is determined by calculating the difference between the factors contributing to population increase (CBR and immigration) and the factors contributing to population decrease (CDR and emigration), all divided by 10. Use the equation for National Population Growth:
P3
Question 7
Which of the following describes the shape of the logistic growth model with time as the independent variable and population growth as the dependent variable?

A
Parabolic-shaped curve
B
J-shaped curve
C
S-shaped curve
D
Straight line
E
U-shaped curve
Question 7 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (C). The logistic growth model produces an S-shaped curve when graphed. This model illustrates a population that initially grows exponentially (curves sharply upward), slows (curves slowly to the right) as the population approaches the carrying capacity of the environment and then levels off at carrying capacity.
Question 8
Which of the following is an r-adapted species?

A
Elephants
B
Mice
C
Gorillas
D
Wolves
E
Whales
Question 8 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (B). R-adapted species have adapted for high rates of growth; they are usually smaller in size, require little energy, produce many offspring, exhibit an early maturity and a short life span, and most individuals die within a short period of time, but some individuals live for an extended period of time.

K-adapted species have slower growth, are usually much larger, live longer lives, and have adapted to live at or near carrying capacity. Of the choices, mice most closely match the r-adapted species description.
Question 9
Which of the following population descriptions portrays the number of individuals in a particular age category?

A
Population size
B
Population density
C
Population distribution
D
Population sex ratio
E
Population age structure
Question 9 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (E). Within a population, there are individuals of varying ages. When population ecologists describe the number of individuals fitting into a particular age category, they are looking at population age structure. This data helps ecologists understand how quickly a population can grow.
Question 10
Questions 10–12 refer the following graphs:

Which example fits the growth pattern shown in Graph II?

A
A population of 10 rabbits is introduced into an area with good supply of food that regenerates easily.
B
A population of 4 coyotes is reintroduced into an area that previous sustained a population of several hundred coyotes before they were hunted to local extinction.
C
A population of reindeer was introduced to an island with no predators and a limited food supply. After the food was consumed, there was a dramatic drop in the population size.
D
A population of harbor seals was actively hunted in Washington State in the early 20th century under a government program that viewed them as harmful predators. This greatly reduced their numbers. Since the program was discontinued, the seal population has rebounded in a logistic pattern.
E
The white-tailed deer population in Pennsylvania is hunted each year with limits the number of males and female that may be killed. The population is healthy and at or near its carrying capacity.
Question 10 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (C). Graph II shows a growing population with a sudden drop, indicating that the population grew exponentially and then had a dramatic population decline. This can be caused by the organism running out of food, causing mass starvation and death. Thus, the reindeer example is the best choice.
Question 11
Questions 10–12 refer the following graphs:

Which letter on the graphs represents a population’s carrying capacity?

A
A
B
B
C
C
D
D
E
E
Question 11 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (B). When a population reaches carrying capacity, the population stops growing and becomes stable.
Question 12
Questions 10–12 refer the following graphs:

Which letter on the graph represents exponential growth?

A
A
B
B
C
C
D
D
E
E
Question 12 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (D). Exponential growth curves appear as a “J” shaped curve on a graph.
Question 13
Braconid wasps lay their eggs inside tobacco hornworms. When the larvae of the braconid complete pupation, the adult will emerge through an opening at the end of the cocoons attached to the outside of the hornworm. From the list below, into which category do the braconid wasps belong?

A
True predators
B
Herbivores
C
Parasites
D
Pathogens
E
Parasitoids
Question 13 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (E). Parasitoids are organisms that lay their eggs inside a host. When the eggs hatch, the larvae slowly eat the host and the host eventually dies. Parasitoids include certain species of flies and wasps.
Question 14
The average number of offspring required to offset the average number of deaths in a population so that the population remains stable is referred to as:

A
Crude birth rate
B
Crude death rate
C
Replacement level fertility
D
Total fertility rate
E
Infant mortality
Question 14 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (C). Demographers calculate replacement level fertility to determine changes in population size. Replacement level fertility looks at the average number of offspring needed to offset the average number of deaths in a population. Typically, for a population of humans, this requires a bit over 2 offspring per woman.
Question 15
Use the graph to answer question 15:

During which phase(s) of the demographic transition does the death rate decline while the birth rate remains high, and the population grows rapidly?

A
Phase 1
B
Phase 2
C
Phase 3
D
Phase 4
E
Phases 1 and 2
Question 15 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (B). In the graph, both the birth rate line and the death rate line are declining in Phase 2. Also in Phase 2, the population size line is increasing.
Question 16
Use the age structure diagram to answer question 16:

A country with an age structure like the one shown above will experience:

A
A rapidly growing population
B
Stable population growth
C
A decline in population
D
High life expectancy
E
High infant mortality
Question 16 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (C). A country with an age structure diagram like the one above will experience a decline in the population because there less children than adults. Therefore, when the children reach childbearing age, it is unlikely they will collectively produce enough offspring to offset their elderly, dying parents.
Question 17
Which of the following illustrates a global impact related to population growth?

A
Traffic into cities creates traffic jams and increases travel time into and out of developments
B
The conversion of forested areas into agricultural land reduces the uptake of carbon dioxide by plants
C
Converting land into agricultural land can cause erosion
D
The building of new developments decreases habitat for local wildlife
E
Greater amounts of solid waste are produced in cities
Question 17 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (B). Conversion of forested areas into agricultural land reduces the uptake of carbon dioxide by plants, thereby not removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and contributing to global warming.
Question 18
Which of the follow represents a practice used by countries striving for sustainable development?

A
Exclusive use of fossil fuels
B
Free public transportation
C
Conversion of agricultural land into suburban developments
D
Avoiding agricultural best practices
E
Importing produce that can be grown locally
Question 18 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (B). All others, except free public transportation, involve overuse of ecological resources.
Question 19
Which of the following factors does not influence species richness of a community?

A
Latitude
B
Habitat size
C
Distance from other communities
D
The length of time the habitat has existed
E
The amount of biomass
Question 19 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (E). Latitude influences the species richness—the further organisms are away from the North or South Pole, the species richness increases. The size of the habitat and the distance of that habitat from a source of colonizing species also influence species richness. Species richness is also influenced by the length of time the habitat has existed, in that the longer the habitat has existed, the greater the species richness. However, amount of biomass in an ecosystem does not influence species richness.
Question 20
Which line on the chart CORRECTLY matches the traits for K-selected and r-selected species?

A
A
B
B
C
C
D
D
E
E
Question 20 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (A). The following chart represents the correct traits of K-selected and r-selected species.

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