Living Environment August 2015 Questions Answer Keys
The University of the State of New York
Regents High School Examination
Wednesday, August 12, 2015 — 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. Which statement describes a situation that would reduce the stability of a forest ecosystem?
- (1) A fierce predator is removed from the ecosystem.
- (2) The number of producers remains constant in the ecosystem.
- (3) Organisms frequently interact within the ecosystem.
- (4) The energy in the ecosystem flows from the Sun.
2. Although the digestive system is primarily responsible for the breakdown of food, this process can be disrupted if the circulatory system malfunctions. The best explanation for this disruption is that
- (1) human body systems interact with each other to perform life functions
- (2) the circulatory system is the control center of the body
- (3) the digestive system and the circulatory system have many organs in common
- (4) the circulatory system is responsible for the coordination of life functions, including the breakdown of food
3. When an organism reproduces asexually, it usually has
- (1) only one parent, and half as much DNA as the parent
- (2) only one parent, and the same chromosome number as the parent
- (3) two parents, and twice as much DNA as either parent
- (4) two parents, and the same chromosome number as each parent
4. The diagram below represents a food pyramid in an ecosystem.
The best explanation for the decrease in the amount of energy transferred to each succeeding level is that much of the energy is
- (1) consumed by predators
- (2) released as heat
- (3) stored within inorganic materials
- (4) used in photosynthesis
5. The corn we eat today is larger and has more kernels than the corn people first grew thousands of years ago. Which process is most likely responsible for the changes that have occurred?
- (1) mitosis
- (2) succession
- (3) direct harvesting
- (4) selective breeding
6. Which statement is correct concerning hereditary information?
- (1) A chromosome is composed of many genes.
- (2) A gene is composed of many chromosomes.
- (3) Each chromosome carries the same information.
- (4) Each gene carries the same information.
7. Which process is most closely associated with the regulation of water loss from the leaves of trees?
- (1) digestion of water within the cytoplasm in the leaf cells of the trees
- (2) synthesis of protein by the chloroplasts in the leaf cells of the trees
- (3) movement of water through leaf openings controlled by the guard cells
- (4) absorption of nitrogen through leaf openings controlled by the guard cells
8. A mutation occurring in a human can be passed from parent to offspring when it occurs in a
- (1) lung cell, due to exposure to a toxic gas
- (2) gamete formed in the ovary
- (3) body cell undergoing mitosis
- (4) heart cell with chromosome damage
9. If the concentration of sodium is greater outside a cell than inside the cell, which process could move sodium out of the cell?
- (1) diffusion
- (2) carbohydrate synthesis
- (3) active transport
- (4) digestion
10. The basic building blocks of a protein are
- (1) glucose molecules
- (2) amino acids
- (3) hormones
- (4) fats
11. Over time, data that support the successful evolution of a species would include observations that describe
- (1) an increase in the genetic changes occurring in body cells
- (2) a decrease in the genetic variety carried in sex cells
- (3) an increase in the proportion of offspring that have favorable characteristics
- (4) a decrease in the proportion of the population that has beneficial traits
12. Caffeine is a compound found in the seeds of many different plants, such as coffee beans, cola nuts, and cacao beans (the source of chocolate). The presence of this chemical in all three types of plants suggests that these plants
- (1) inherited identical mutations
- (2) share a common ancestry
- (3) were exposed to the same type of radiation in the past
- (4) were cloned from a caffeine plant
13. Male turkeys are birds that naturally strut and display their large tail feathers, which attracts female turkeys. This display is an example of
- (1) a behavioral adaptation
- (2) selective breeding
- (3) asexual reproduction
- (4) a learned behavior
14. A scientist at a large natural history museum has a collection of fossils that were found throughout the world. Only a few of the fossils represent species that are still alive on Earth today. One reason for this is that
- (1) most of the species that have ever lived on Earth are alive today
- (2) most of the species that have ever lived on Earth are extinct
- (3) fossils of only extinct species have been found
- (4) species alive today will not form any fossils for future discovery by scientists
15. Which statement concerning sexual reproduction is correct?
- (1) It is not necessary in order for the individual to survive.
- (2) The offspring are identical to the parent.
- (3) It is necessary in order for the individual to survive.
- (4) The offspring are identical to each other.
16. When a paramecium, a single-celled organism, is living under stressful conditions, it sometimes switches from asexual to sexual reproduction. The main advantage when this switch occurs is that the paramecium is most likely to
- (1) produce fewer offspring
- (2) increase variation among its offspring
- (3) avoid having to find a mate
- (4) produce clones of itself
17. The diagram below represents some processes in the early development of a multicellular organism.
Which statement describing this diagram is correct?
- (1) The cell represented by structure 3 has the same genetic content as structure 2.
- (2) Process A represents the process of meiosis.
- (3) Each cell in structure 4 has the same genetic content as that in structure 3.
- (4) Processes A and B both occur in the placenta.
18. Which statement describes a function of the hormone estrogen?
- (1) It regulates the secretion of digestive enzymes.
- (2) It promotes sperm production in males.
- (3) It influences the development of adult sex characteristics.
- (4) It maintains blood sugar levels.
19. The primary function of the human male reproductive system is to
- (1) provide a site for fertilization
- (2) produce and transport gametes
- (3) protect and nourish the embryo
- (4) prevent urine from leaving the body
20. In an embryo, the formation of many types of tissues and organs occurs as a result of the process of
- (1) fertilization
- (2) genetic sorting
- (3) differentiation
- (4) gene recombination
21. Which activity would be an appropriate first step when designing an experiment?
- (1) reporting a conclusion based on multiple experimental trials
- (2) researching the problem, using information from a variety of sources
- (3) creating a data table to organize experimental observations
- (4) repeating the experiment with a different hypothesis
22. Every time a child visited a cousin who has two cats, the child’s eyes turned red, itched, and began to water. Then, the child began to have trouble breathing. It is most likely that the child reacted this way because
- (1) normally harmless cat antigens stimulated the immune system
- (2) it is difficult for the respiratory system to filter cat antigens out of the inhaled air
- (3) cat antigens are a health hazard, since they always cause disease
- (4) cat antigens stop the immune system from making antibodies, so bacteria cause these responses
23. Shrimp that live in the cold waters off Alaska will die if introduced into warm water. One likely reason these shrimp do not survive is that enzymes in the shrimp
- (1) start to replicate
- (2) change shape
- (3) are composed of fat molecules that melt
- (4) break down into small starch molecules
24. A DNA segment removed from neurospora (a pink mold) contained the base sequence G-T-C-C-A-T-G-C-A. A similar segment of DNA removed from neurospora that had been exposed to radiation for several hours had the base sequence G-T-C-C-A-T. This change in the base sequence is an example of
- (1) a deletion
- (3) a substitution
- (2) an insertion
- (4) a replication
25. Farmers in India have increased the harvest yield of food crops like eggplant by growing them from seeds that have been modified to produce a bacterial toxin that is harmful to pest insects. This is an example of
- (1) selective breeding of the insects
- (2) spraying an insecticide on plants
- (3) selective breeding of the eggplant
- (4) an application of biotechnology
26. The graph below shows changes in human population numbers over time.
A consequence of these changes is
- (1) an increase in the numbers and kinds of organisms worldwide
- (2) a decrease in the availability of natural resources
- (3) a decrease in deforestation due to technological improvements
- (4) an increase in biosphere stability
27. In the fall, some farmers plow the remains of corn plants into the ground. This activity contributes most directly to the
- (1) increase in the biodiversity of their fields
- (2) depletion of nonrenewable resources
- (3) destruction of natural habitats
- (4) recycling of organic matter
28. A person usually experiences small variations in body temperature over a 24-hour period. These variations in temperature are an example of
- (1) an immune response
- (2) genetic differences between individuals
- (3) an adaptation to global warming
- (4) dynamic equilibrium
29. Fossil fuels have been used for years as a source of energy. Even though there are many negative issues associated with the use of fossil fuels, they continue to be used to a great extent. This is most likely because
- (1) they have been commercially available as an energy source
- (2) there are alternatives to these types of fuels
- (3) they have had a positive effect on global temperatures
- (4) fossil fuels can be burned to produce large quantities of carbon dioxide
30. Sometimes, a person is born with one or more extra chromosomes in each cell. This usually results in abnormalities because the affected person has
- (1) a reduced number of genes in cell nuclei
- (2) fewer cell mutations than a person with a normal chromosome number
- (3) more genes in each cell than a person with a normal chromosome number
- (4) less DNA in cell nuclei, but more proteins in cell mitochondri
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