Study Guide

Page 1
Study Guide Exam 1
1. What does the Greek word oikos mean? By the way, the word ecology is derived from
this Greek word.
2. Know the hierarchy of ecological systems, i.e. levels of biological organization.
3. Know definitions: population, community and ecosystem. For ‘ecosystem,’ know both
4. Know about experimentation – replication, confounding variables (and how to control –
e.g. greenhouses, incubators, microcosms), control/treatment, microcosms, permanent
plots (and annual data collection to address variation over time), how to address spatial
5. What does the word phenology mean in “The National Phenology Network”
6. What is iNaturalist and how might data from it be used by ecologists?
7. Read the document (on D2L) related to sea otters and relate the text to figure showing
the interaction of species.
8. Know the sizes of soil particles and how size variation determines field capacity? What
is field capacity?
9. Know about photosynthesis – What organelle does it occur in? What are the reactants
and products?
10. What is photorespiration and what is rubisco’s role in photorespiration?
11. What is the most common form of photosynthesis? What forms of photosynthesis are
found in dry habitats? How does CAM operate daily? In what cells does the Calvin
cycle occur – it differs between C3/CAM and C4?
12. Name some adaptations that plants may have to deal with hot, dry conditions.
13. If a plant wanted to extract additional water from soil, would it increase/decrease solute
concentration in root cells?
14. From the reading on owls posted on D2L, know about the biology of skunk cabbage.
See page 8, Figure 4.8 on the “owl heat regulation text” document on D2L.
15. Name environmental events from smallest to largest spatial scale.
16. What is the relationship between duration and spatial scale of environmental events?
Page 2
17. Define phenotypic plasticity, phenotypic trade-off, acclimation, isozymes. What type of
traits respond most rapidly vs least rapidly to the environment?
18. How does root/shoot ratio change in relation to soil water availability?
19. Know about the patter of monarch butterfly migration and the purpose of torpor in
20. What is the solar equator? Where’s the location?
21. Know about Earth’s rotation and how the sun shines on the Earth during the equinox.
22. How does a Hadley cell function? How does it determine wet vs dry habitats? Where
are the wet vs. dry habitats found in relation to the Hadley cell?
23. What is the intertropical convergence zone? How does it determine wet vs dry season
and the timing of these seasons north and south of the equator?
24. What are the major precipitation effects of El Niño–Southern Oscillation around the
25. Describe a rain shadow and how it influences the environment.
26. Be able to explain the diagram below.
Page 3

Exam 1 Study Guide Page 1

1. What is the meaning of the Greek word oikos? The term ecology, by the way, is derived from

This Greek term

2. Understand the ecological system hierarchy, or degrees of biological organization.

3. Understand the following definitions: population, community, and ecology. Know both terms for ‘ecosystem.’


4. Understand the basics of experimentation – replication, confounding variables (and how to control Them

control/treatment, microcosms, permanent (e.g. greenhouses, incubators, microcosms), permanent (e.g. greenhouses, incubators, microcosms), permanent (e.g. greenhouses, incubators, microcosms

plots (as well as annual data gathering to handle variation over time), and how to address spatial variance


5. What does “The National Phenology Network” intend by the term “phenology”?

6. What is iNaturalist, and how might ecologists use data from it?

7. Read the sea otter-related document (on D2L) and relate the text to the figure.

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