Living Environment June 2009

Living Environment August 2009 Question Answer Keys

The University of the State of New York
Regents High School Examination
Living Environment
Thursday, August 13, 2009 — 12:30 to 3:30 p.m., only
Student Name _____________________________________________________________
School Name ______________________________________________________________

Directions (1–30): For each statement or question, write on your separate answer sheet the number of the word or expression that, of those given, best completes the statement or answers the question.

1. Organisms that are able to manufacture organic nutrients from substances in the abiotic environment are classified as

  • (1) heterotrophs
  • (2) fungi
  • (3) predators
  • (4) autotrophs

2. Which factor would have the greatest effect on the flow of energy into an ecosystem?

  • (1) a large decrease in the amount of sunlight available
  • (2) a large increase in the number of carnivores
  • (3) a small increase in the number of decomposers
  • (4) a small decrease in the amount of minerals available

3. Which structures carry out life functions within cells?

  • (1) tissues
  • (2) organ systems
  • (3) organelles
  • (4) organs

4. Which process is most directly responsible for maintaining internal stability in an organism when its environment is constantly changing?

  • (1) digestion
  • (2) feedback
  • (3) reproduction
  • (4) evolution

5. The function of a cell depends primarily on its

  • (1) life span
  • (2) color
  • (3) structure
  • (4) movement

6. In some cases, humans have chosen to mate certain individual farm animals within a species. For example, by allowing only the largest cattle to reproduce over many generations, strains of very large cattle have been produced. This process is known as

  • (1) natural selection
  • (2) direct harvesting
  • (3) selective breeding
  • (4) dynamic equilibrium

7. A boy inherits genes for tallness, but his growth is limited as a result of poor nutrition. This is an example of

  • (1) an inherited disorder
  • (2) environmental influence on gene expression
  • (3) expression of a hidden trait
  • (4) a characteristic controlled by more than one pair of genes

8. The sickle-cell trait is an inherited condition resulting from the presence of abnormal molecules of the protein hemoglobin in red blood cells. A person with the sickle-cell trait may have a child with the same condition because the child receives from the parent

  • (1) abnormal red blood cells
  • (2) abnormal hemoglobin molecules
  • (3) a code for the production of abnormal hemoglobin
  • (4) a code for the production of abnormal amino acids

9. The sorting and recombining of genes during meiosis and fertilization usually leads to the production of

  • (1) gametes with many copies of the same chromosome
  • (2) embryos with traits identical to those of all other members of the species
  • (3) zygotes with the genetic information to produce only females
  • (4) offspring with some traits that did not appear in their parents

10. Which situation would most likely produce a gene mutation in a squirrel?

  • (1) The squirrel stops using its claws for digging.
  • (2) The squirrel is exposed to radiation for several days.
  • (3) Oak trees gradually become less common.
  • (4) The weather becomes wetter for a short period of time.

11. Which row in the chart below best describes what happens when some DNA bases are deleted from a gene?

Living Environment August 2009

12. The diagram below represents a technique currently used by scientists in the field of biotechnology

Living Environment August 2009

Which statement describes a possible outcome of this technique?

  • (1) The bacterium is able to produce a human hormone.
  • (2) It allows the bacterium to grow in humans, since it contains a human gene.
  • (3) It allows humans to become immune to an infection from this type of bacteria.
  • (4) The bacterium can now produce human cells identical to cells of the DNA donor.

13. When antibiotics were first developed, most infectious diseases could be controlled by them. Today, certain bacteria are resistant to many antibiotics. One possible explanation for this change is that

  • (1) the antibiotics killed most of the bacteria that did not have a genetic variation for resistance
  • (2) the bacteria needed to change in order to produce more antibiotics
  • (3) some of the bacteria learned how to resist the antibiotics
  • (4) antibiotics have become weaker over the years

14. Thousands of genetically identical trees have been discovered growing in a remote, undisturbed mountain area in Colorado. These trees are most likely the result of

  • (1) genetic engineering
  • (2) asexual reproduction
  • (3) meiotic cell division
  • (4) biotechnology

15. The ability of the human body to keep bloodsugar levels within a fairly narrow range, despite the intake of meals high in carbohydrates, is an example of

  • (1) active transport
  • (2) genetic recombination
  • (3) homeostasis
  • (4) digestion

16. A large number of sperm cells are produced by males every day. This large number of sperm cells increases the chance that

  • (1) at least one sperm cell will be reached when the eggs swim toward the sperm cells in the ovary
  • (2) several sperm cells will unite with an egg so the fertilized egg will develop properly
  • (3) some of the sperm cells will survive to reach the egg
  • (4) enough sperm cells will be present to transport the egg from where it is produced to where it develops into a fetus

17. Which statement best describes the relationship between the blood of a human fetus and the blood of the mother?

  • (1) Their blood systems are separate only at certain times in development and connected at other times.
  • (2) The blood flows directly from the mother into the fetus.
  • (3) Their blood systems are separate and no materials are exchanged.
  • (4) Their blood systems are separate, but certain materials pass from one to the other.

18. To replace burned skin, doctors can successfully transplant replacement skin taken from another part of the body of the burn victim. Which statement best explains why the transplanted skin is not rejected?

  • (1) The transplanted skin is damaged, making the immune system nonfunctional.
  • (2) The antigens of the replacement skin are the same as those of the damaged skin.
  • (3) Burn victims lose so much blood that white blood cells cannot cause an immune response.
  • (4) There is no blood supply to the skin, so mixing of antigens does not occur.

19. The soil on a farm can very quickly become depleted of the minerals essential to plants because harvesting of crops can interfere with the

  • (1) reproductive cycles of animals
  • (2) recycling of inorganic compounds
  • (3) flow of energy
  • (4) transport of groundwater

20. A vaccine used against an infectious disease may contain

  • (1) specialized blood cells
  • (2) toxic enzymes
  • (3) a variety of antibiotics
  • (4) weakened pathogens

21. What will most likely occur if two different plant species compete for the same requirements in an ecosystem?

  • (1) They will usually develop different requirements.
  • (2) One species may adapt to a different environment.
  • (3) One species may be eliminated from that ecosystem.
  • (4) They will alter the environment so that they can both survive in that ecosystem.

22. Some of the energy taken in by an organism is not available to other organisms in a food web. Energy that is not available to other organisms in a food web is energy that is

  • (1) stored in the remains of a dead animal
  • (2) lost to the environment as heat
  • (3) stored in eggs produced during sexual reproduction
  • (4) produced in muscle tissue during the growth of an organism

23. The relationship that exists when athlete’s foot fungus grows on a human is an example of

  • (1) predator/prey
  • (2) producer/consumer
  • (3) parasite/host
  • (4) decomposer/autotroph

24. If an ecosystem is changed through a natural disaster, organisms will have the best chance of survival if

  • (1) their environment has few abiotic factors
  • (2) the organisms are large
  • (3) the population size is small
  • (4) their species exhibits genetic variation

25. In state forests and parks containing varieties of flowering trees and shrubs, there are signs that say “Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints.” These signs are necessary because

  • (1) humans can destroy habitats by removing flowering trees and shrubs
  • (2) all animals feed directly on flowering shrubs that may be removed by people
  • (3) removal of flowering trees and shrubs will increase biodiversity
  • (4) flowering shrubs grow best in state forests and parks

26. Which human activity creates the least threat to global stability?

  • (1) overuse of resources
  • (2) pollution of water with heavy metals
  • (3) pollution of air with sulfur gases
  • (4) reuse of plastic bags

27 Which change is a cause of the other three?

  • (1) increased fossil fuel consumption
  • (2) destruction of the ozone shield
  • (3) increased industrialization
  • (4) destruction of natural habitats

28. In an attempt to improve environmental quality, local officials in a county in New York State want to build a garbage-to-steam plant. At the plant, garbage would be burned to produce energy, but air pollution would also be produced. In order to decide whether or not to build this plant, the community must consider

  • (1) the trade-offs involved
  • (2) new genetic technology
  • (3) the natural process of succession
  • (4) energy flow between organisms

29. An evolutionary pathway is represented below.

Living Environment August 2009

Which statement about evolutionary pathways is most accurate?

  • (1) All evolutionary pathways show that life began with autotrophic organisms that soon evolved into heterotrophic organisms.
  • (2) Two organisms on the same branch of an evolutionary pathway are more closely related to each other than to those on distant branches.
  • (3) All the organisms shown at the ends of evolutionary pathway branch tips are alive today.
  • (4) Evolutionary pathways show that evolution is a short-term process.

30. Which graph represents a population that grew and is maintained at the carrying capacity of its ecosystem?

Living Environment August 2009

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