Living Environment August 2014

Living Environment August 2014 Question Answer Keys

The University of the State of New York
Regents High School Examination
Living Environment
Thursday, August 14, 2014 — 12:30 to 3:30 p.m., only

Student Name _____________________________________________________________
School Name ______________________________________________________________

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

1. A function of cell membranes in humans is the

  • (1) synthesis of the amino acids
  • (2) production of energy
  • (3) replication of genetic material
  • (4) recognition of certain chemicals
Answer: (4) recognition of certain chemicals 

2. Forests, mountains, rivers, and marshes are examples of the wide variety of ecosystems in New York State. The diversity of these ecosystems is most likely the result of

  • (1) the variety of abiotic conditions in these regions
  • (2) interactions between producers and decomposers
  • (3) increased efforts to protect endangered species
  • (4) a lack of competition between the heterotrophs living there
Answer: (1) the variety of abiotic conditions in these regions 

3. The diagram below represents two organisms.

Living Environment August 2014

Which statement concerning organism A and organism B is correct?

  • (1) Organism A contains organs, whereas organism B lacks organs.
  • (2) Organism A and organism B have the same organ systems.
  • (3) Organism A and organism B both have structures that perform life processes.
  • (4) Organism A lacks structures that help maintain dynamic equilibrium.
Answer: (3) Organism A and organism B both have structures that perform life processes. 

4. Which statement best describes the organelles in a cell?

  • (1) All organelles are involved directly with communication between cells.
  • (2) Organelles must work together and their activities must be coordinated.
  • (3) Organelles function only when there is a disruption in homeostasis.
  • (4) Each organelle must function independently of the others in order to maintain homeostasis.
Answer: (2) Organelles must work together and their activities must be coordinated. 

5. A substance directly involved in cellular communication within the human body is

  • (1) an antibody
  • (2) an antibiotic
  • (3) a hormone
  • (4) a starch
Answer: (3) a hormone 

6. The list below includes three organ systems that are directly used when a human runs.

circulatory system
muscular system
skeletal system

Which system should also be included in the list?

  • (1) immune system
  • (2) reproductive system
  • (3) digestive system
  • (4) nervous system
Answer: (4) nervous system

7. In a pine forest, there are different species of birds known as warblers that are able to coexist on the same pine trees. The Cape May warblers feed on insects located on the tips of the highest pine branches. The yellow-rumped warblers feed on insects on lower branches of the same trees. The different feeding locations for these two species of warblers indicate that they have different

  • (1) niches
  • (2) ecosystems
  • (3) methods of asexual reproduction
  • (4) methods of selective breeding
Answer: (1) niches

8. The diagram below represents the locations of two mutations in a strand of a DNA molecule.

Living Environment August 2014

If this DNA is located in the nucleus of a skin cell, the cell will

  • (1) pass the mutations on to only half the cells that develop from it
  • (2) delete all of the DNA in the nucleus and synthesize new DNA
  • (3) correct the mutations after several generations
  • (4) pass the mutations on to the cells that develop from it
Answer: (4) pass the mutations on to the cells that develop from it 

9. A human skin cell contains 46 chromosomes. A frog sperm cell contains 12 chromosomes. Which pair of numbers shows the chromosome number of a normal gamete from each of these species?

  • (1) human 46; frog 12
  • (2) human 46; frog 24
  • (3) human 23; frog 24
  • (4) human 23; frog 12
Answer: (4) human 23; frog 12

10. According to the theory of biological evolution, most present-day species of organisms

  • (1) developed from similar, smaller prehistoric organisms
  • (2) have always existed in the form they have today
  • (3) developed from fossils of the other organisms
  • (4) descended from earlier, different species of organisms
Answer: (4) descended from earlier, different species of organisms

11. Corn seeds with identical genetic information were planted on two adjacent farms. The corn plants on one farm were well fertilized and grew large, while the plants on the other farm were not given fertilizer and did not grow as large. The best explanation for these observations is that

  • (1) crops grow differently in different climates
  • (2) the corn plants all contained mutated genes that made them grow
  • (3) environmental conditions affect gene expression
  • (4) the plants on one farm had different genes from the plants on the other farm
Answer: (3) environmental conditions affect gene expression

12. The male red-winged blackbird defends its territory and uses loud vocalizations to attract a mate. Such behavior directly benefits these birds because it results in

  • (1) increased competition for food
  • (2) greater reproductive success
  • (3) reduced biodiversity
  • (4) global stability
Answer: (2) greater reproductive success

13. Extinction occurs when the environment changes and

  • (1) a species can reproduce successfully
  • (2) an individual has adaptive characteristics insufficient to allow survival
  • (3) all members of a species are no longer living
  • (4) one individual produces some offspring that evolve into a new species
Answer: (3) all members of a species are no longer living

14. All the information necessary for growth, development, and eventual reproduction of sexually reproducing organisms is present in

  • (1) sperm cells, only
  • (2) egg cells, only
  • (3) zygotes
  • (4) either sperm cells or egg cells
Answer: (3) zygotes

15. Which activity can occur without the use of energy?

  • (1) contraction of muscle tissue
  • (2) protein synthesis in a cell
  • (3) active transport of minerals
  • (4) movement of water across a membrane
Answer: (4) movement of water across a membrane

16. An alternative to the use of insecticides to combat the Mediterranean fruit fly is the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT). SIT involves the sterilization of male insects by radiation, which prevents the formation of functional male gametes. When these male insects mate with female insects of the same species, the result would be that

  • (1) only female offspring would be produced
  • (2) no offspring would be produced
  • (3) the offspring would have a reduced number of chromosomes
  • (4) the offspring would no longer be sterile
Answer: (2) no offspring would be produced

17. The diagrams below represent a human organ system.

Living Environment August 2014

The major function of the system is to

  • (1) provide immunity essential for the survival of each individual in a population
  • (2) provide cells that are necessary for the survival of the species
  • (3) produce chemical messages that are necessary for nerve cell development
  • (4) control the passage of nutrients into and out of a developing fetus
Answer: (2) provide cells that are necessary for the survival of the species

18. Sheep were the first species of mammals to be cloned. Which statement about cloned sheep is correct?

  • (1) Different kinds of body cells in a cloned sheep contain different DNA.
  • (2) Cloned sheep cannot produce offspring if they are mated with noncloned sheep.
  • (3) Two sheep cloned from the same parent cannot mate and have offspring.
  • (4) Many cells in cloned sheep have two identical nuclei, instead of a single nucleus.
Answer: (3) Two sheep cloned from the same parent cannot mate and have offspring.

19. In a sexually reproducing species, evolution could occur as a result of

  • (1) modification of genes in body cells
  • (2) modification of genes in sex cells
  • (3) increased reproduction among individuals with identical chromosomes
  • (4) recombination of genes in cells reproducing by mitosis
Answer: (2) modification of genes in sex cells

20. An increase in the level of hormone A causes an increase in the level of hormone B. The increase in the level of hormone B then causes a decrease in the level of hormone A. This process is an example of

  • (1) a failure to maintain homeostasis
  • (2) the breakdown of chemicals
  • (3) a disruption in cellular coordination
  • (4) a feedback mechanism
Answer: (4) a feedback mechanism

21. Human population growth has led to a reduction in the populations of predators throughout natural ecosystems across the United States. Scientists consider the loss of these predators to have a

  • (1) positive effect, because an increase in their prey helps to maintain stability in the ecosystem
  • (2) positive effect, because predators usually eliminate the species they prey on
  • (3) negative effect, since predators have always made up a large portion of our food supply
  • (4) negative effect, because predators have an important role in maintaining stable ecosystems
Answer: (4) negative effect, because predators have an important role in maintaining stable ecosystems

22. Which environmental change would cause the greatest reduction in the biodiversity of a large ecosystem?

  • (1) building a new home
  • (2) building a new store in a shopping mall
  • (3) widespread use of pesticides
  • (4) widespread recycling programs
Answer: (3) widespread use of pesticides

23. The diagram below represents a variety of fossil types, which can be found in many rocks.

Living Environment August 2014

These fossils can be best used to provide information that could be used in a study of

  • (1) evolutionary relationships
  • (2) dynamic equilibrium
  • (3) selective breeding
  • (4) cell specialization
Answer: (1) evolutionary relationships

24. The bottom of Onondaga Lake in upstate New York contains large amounts of pollutants. One proposal to clean the lake bottom requires that the pollutants be removed and stored nearby. People who live near the proposed storage sites are opposed to this plan. The officials who must decide on the proposal will examine both the benefits and risks of the plan. The decision made by the officials will most likely involve

  • (1) increased industrialization
  • (2) direct harvesting
  • (3) an increase in finite resources
  • (4) consideration of trade-offs
Answer: (4) consideration of trade-offs

25. The increased use of wind turbines and solar collectors to generate electric power will

  • (1) negatively affect ecosystems by increasing biodiversity
  • (2) negatively alter the chemical composition of soil and water
  • (3) reduce the amount of pollution that comes from the burning of fossil fuels
  • (4) increase oil consumption for business and industry
Answer: (3) reduce the amount of pollution that comes from the burning of fossil fuels 

26. Antibiotics are substances used to help fight an infection of Streptococcus, a bacterium that causes strep throat. Overuse of these antibiotics can

  • (1) prevent future infections by these pathogens
  • (2) cause a decrease in the production of enzymes
  • (3) allow organic molecules to be synthesized
  • (4) select for resistant organisms
Answer: (4) select for resistant organisms 

27. An allergic reaction to certain types of natural, unprocessed foods, such as peanuts, is caused by

  • (1) a lack of digestive enzymes
  • (2) a response to specific antigens
  • (3) microorganisms living within the food
  • (4) high levels of carbon dioxide in the air
Answer: (2) a response to specific antigens

28. A variety of pear tree, known as Bradford, was originally introduced into the eastern United States in the 1960s. Today, this tree is crowding out other plants in these states. This situation best illustrates

  • (1) an unintentional negative effect of altering an ecosystem
  • (2) how a foreign species is controlled in the eastern United States
  • (3) that the introduction of a foreign species does not affect food webs
  • (4) that serious environmental consequences can be avoided by importing a foreign species
Answer: (1) an unintentional negative effect of altering an ecosystem

29. The diagram below represents a process that occurs in nature.

Living Environment August 2014

If the oak and hickory trees were burned in a forest fire, leaving bare soil, which group of plants would most likely be the first to grow back?

  • (1) crabgrass and horseweed
  • (2) oak and hickory trees
  • (3) broomsedge and pine seedlings
  • (4) mature pine and young deciduous trees
Answer: (1) crabgrass and horseweed

30. A growing mass of plastic garbage is collecting in an area of the Pacific Ocean. This is caused by plastic garbage that is discarded by people, and it ends up in rivers that carry it to the ocean. Over time, ocean currents cause it to accumulate in this area of the Pacific. Currently, the mass is estimated to cover an area of ocean twice the size of Texas. As these plastics slowly break down, chemicals enter the water, and can enter ocean organisms that we might eventually use for food. This sequence of events illustrates that

  • (1) humans modify ecosystems as a result of population growth, consumption, and technology
  • (2) human activities that degrade ecosystems result in an increase in diversity of ecosystems
  • (3) when humans alter ecosystems by adding specific organisms, serious consequences could result
  • (4) industrialization brings a reduced demand for fossil and nuclear fuels
Answer: (1) humans modify ecosystems as a result of population growth, consumption, and technology

 

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