AP Environmental Science Practice Test: Population

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Question 1
A keystone species that creates or maintains a habitat for other species is known as a/an

A
Ecological engineer
B
Ecosystem engineer
C
Keystone structuralist
D
Keystone predator
E
Habitat engineer
Question 1 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (B). An ecosystem engineer is a type of keystone species that creates or maintains a habitat for other species. These physical alterations that ecosystem engineers produce heavily influence the surrounding organisms, oftentimes facilitating increased biodiversity. Beavers are considered to be a classic example of ecosystem engineers.
Question 2
In an experiment, two groups of paramecium species are grown together in a contained environment. P.aurelia continued to grow well after 18 days, while P.caudatum declined to extinction over the course of 18 days. This result demonstrates which of the following?

A
Symbiotic relationship
B
Competition
C
Predation
D
Competitive exclusion principle
E
Resource partitioning
Question 2 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (D). These results demonstrate that two species competing for the same limiting resource (primarily a contained environment) cannot coexist. This is known as the competitive exclusion principle. This principle states that two species occupying the same habitat cannot both occupy the same ecological niche. One species will thrive while the other will diminish.
Question 3
Which of the following factors does NOT affect species richness?

A
Latitude
B
Survivorship curves
C
Time
D
Habitat size
E
Distance from other communities
Question 3 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (B). The species richness of a community is influenced by latitude, time, habitat size, and distance from other communities. Survivorship curves are NOT a factor that affects species richness. Survivorship curves are graphs that represent the different patterns of species survival as a function of the age of the species.
Question 4
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 4 Explanation: 
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 5
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 5 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 6
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 6 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 stable population growth; Phase 4 shows declining population growth.
Question 7
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 7 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (C). The IPAT equation, or I = PAT, was developed to estimate the impact of human beings on the environment of Earth. The I, or environmental impact, is equivalent to the product of P, or size of the population, A, the affluence of the people, and T, the 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 be the causes of 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 8
Which of the following tree species is a pioneer species in North American forests?

A
Beech
B
Fir
C
Aspen
D
Maple
E
Oak
Question 8 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (C). A pioneer species in North American forests is a species of tree that can colonize new areas quickly and thrive. The aspen tree is often referred to as a pioneer species because of its ability to colonize new environments rapidly and maintain its longevity regardless of potential fires.
Question 9
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 9 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (E). In a Type I survivorship curve, an animal 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 10
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 10 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 11
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 11 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (C). The logistic growth model produces an S-shaped curve when graphed, because this model reflects a population that initially grows exponentially (curves sharply upward), but slows (curves slowly to the right) as the population approaches the carrying capacity of the environment.
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