Living Environment January 2009

Living Environment January 2009 Questions Answer Keys

The University of the State of New York
Regents High School Examination
Living Environment
Tuesday, January 27, 2009 — 9:15 a.m. to 12:15 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 Scientists in the United States, Europe, and Africa have now suggested that the hippopotamus is a relative of the whale. Earlier studies placed the hippo as a close relative of wild pigs, but recent studies have discovered stronger evidence for the connection to whales. This information suggests that

  • (1) genetic engineering was involved in the earlier theories
  • (2) structural evidence is the best evolutionary factor to consider
  • (3) natural selection does not occur in hippo – potamuses
  • (4) scientific explanations are tentative and subject to change
Answer: (4) scientific explanations are tentative and subject to change 

2. A stable ecosystem would not contain

  • (1) materials being cycled
  • (2) consumers without producers
  • (3) decomposers
  • (4) a constant source of energy
Answer: (2) consumers without producers 

3. A human liver cell and a human skin cell in the same person have the same genetic sequences. However, these cells are different because the liver cell

  • (1) has more dominant traits than the skin cell
  • (2) can reproduce but the skin cell cannot
  • (3) carries out respiration but the skin cell does not
  • (4) uses different genes than the skin cell
Answer: (4) uses different genes than the skin cell 

4. Abiotic factors that could affect the stability of an ecosystem could include

  • (1) hurricanes, packs of wolves, and temperature
  • (2) blizzards, heat waves, and swarms of grasshoppers
  • (3) droughts, floods, and heat waves
  • (4) species of fish, number of decomposers, and supply of algae
Answer: (3) droughts, floods, and heat waves 

5. Many viruses infect only a certain type of cell because they bind to certain

  • (1) other viruses on the surface of the cell
  • (2) mitochondria in the cell
  • (3) hormones in the cell
  • (4) receptor sites on the surface of the cell
Answer: (4) receptor sites on the surface of the cell 

6. The respiratory system includes a layer of cells in the air passages that clean the air before it gets to the lungs. This layer of cells is best classified as

  • (1) a tissue
  • (2) an organ
  • (3) an organelle
  • (4) an organ system
Answer: (1) a tissuel 

7. The diagram below represents a typical energy pyramid.

Living Environment January 2009

Which level in the pyramid includes autotrophs?

  • (1) A
  • (2) B
  • (3) C
  • (4) D
Answer: (4) D 

8. Mustard gas removes guanine (G) from DNA. For developing embryos, exposure to mustard gas can cause serious deformities because guanine

  • (1) stores the building blocks of proteins
  • (2) supports the structure of ribosomes
  • (3) produces energy for genetic transfer
  • (4) is part of the genetic code
Answer: (4) is part of the genetic code 

9. The diagram below represents a food web

Living Environment January 2009

Which organisms are correctly paired with their nutritional roles?

  • (1) hawk—decomposer; insect-eating bird—parasite
  • (2) mouse—autotroph; flower seed—heterotroph
  • (3) mountain lion—predator; bark beetle—herbivore
  • (4) grasshopper—carnivore; grass—autotroph
Answer: (3) mountain lion—predator; bark beetle—herbivore 

10. Which process usually results in offspring that exhibit new genetic variations?

Living Environment January 2009

11. Which observation could best be used to indicate an evolutionary relationship between two species?

  • (1) They have similar base sequences.
  • (2) They have similar fur color.
  • (3) They inhabit the same geographic regions.
  • (4) They occupy the same niche.
Answer: (1) They have similar base sequences. 

12. A species in a changing environment would have the best chance of survival as a result of a mutation that has a

  • (1) high adaptive value and occurs in its skin cells
  • (2) low adaptive value and occurs in its skin cells
  • (3) high adaptive value and occurs in its gametes
  • (4) low adaptive value and occurs in its gametes
Answer: (3) high adaptive value and occurs in its gametes 

13. In an area of Indonesia where the ocean floor is littered with empty coconut shells, a species of octopus has been filmed “walking” on two of its eight tentacles. The remaining six tentacles are wrapped around its body. Scientists suspect that, with its tentacles arranged this way, the octopus resembles a rolling coconut. Local predators, including sharks, seem not to notice the octopus as often when it behaves in this manner. This unique method of locomotion has lasted over many generations due to

  • (1) competition between octopuses and their predators
  • (2) ecological succession in marine habitats
  • (3) the process of natural selection
  • (4) selective breeding of this octopus species
Answer: (3) the process of natural selection 

14. Which statement concerning production of offspring is correct?

  • (1) Production of offspring is necessary for a species to survive, but it is not necessary for an individual to survive.
  • (2) An organism can reproduce without performing any of the other life processes.
  • (3) Production of offspring is necessary for an individual organism to survive, while the other life processes are important for a species to survive.
  • (4) Reproduction is a process that requires gametes in all species.
Answer: (1) Production of offspring is necessary for a species to survive, but it is not necessary for an individual to survive. 

15. Limited resources contribute to evolutionary change in animals by increasing

  • (1) genetic variation within the population
  • (2) competition between members of the species
  • (3) the carrying capacity for the species
  • (4) the rate of photosynthesis in the population
Answer: (2) competition between members of the species 

16. Some chemical interactions in a human are shown in the graph below.

Living Environment January 2009

This graph represents hormones and events in the

  • (1) process of fetal growth and development
  • (2) process of meiotic cell division during sperm development
  • (3) reproductive cycle of males
  • (4) reproductive cycle of females
Answer: (4) reproductive cycle of females 

17. German measles is a disease that can harm an embryo if the mother is infected in the early stages of pregnancy because the virus that causes German measles is able to

  • (1) be absorbed by the embryo from the mother’s milk
  • (2) be transported to the embryo in red blood cells
  • (3) pass across the placenta
  • (4) infect the eggs
Answer: (3) pass across the placenta 

18. In lakes in New York State that are exposed to acid rain, fish populations are declining. This is primarily due to changes in which lake condition?

  • (1) size
  • (2) temperature
  • (3) pH
  • (4) location
Answer: (3) pH 

19. The diagram below represents a system in the human body

Living Environment January 2009

The primary function of structure X is to

  • (1) produce energy needed for sperm to move
  • (2) provide food for the sperm to carry to the egg
  • (3) produce and store urine
  • (4) form gametes that may be involved in fertilization
Answer: (4) form gametes that may be involved in fertilization 

20. The diagram below represents an autotrophic cell.

Living Environment January 2009

For the process of autotrophic nutrition, the arrow labeled A would most likely represent the direction of movement of

  • (1) carbon dioxide, water, and solar energy
  • (2) oxygen, glucose, and solar energy
  • (3) carbon dioxide, oxygen, and heat energy
  • (4) glucose, water, and heat energy
Answer: (1) carbon dioxide, water, and solar energy

21. Which statement describes starches, fats, proteins, and DNA?

  • (1) They are used to store genetic information.
  • (2) They are complex molecules made from smaller molecules.
  • (3) They are used to assemble larger inorganic materials.
  • (4) They are simple molecules used as energy sources.
Answer: (2) They are complex molecules made from smaller molecules.

22. In 1995, during an Ebola virus outbreak, approximately 80% of the infected individuals died. Which statement is an inference that could be made based on this information?

  • (1) The individuals who survived were able to produce antibodies against the Ebola virus.
  • (2) The individuals who survived were not exposed to the Ebola antigens.
  • (3) Eighty percent of the population had a natural immunity to the Ebola virus.
  • (4) Eighty percent of the population was infected with a viral antigen.
Answer: (1) The individuals who survived were able to produce antibodies against the Ebola virus.

23. In some people, substances such as peanuts, eggs, and milk cause an immune response. This response to usually harmless substances is most similar to the

  • (1) action of the heart as the intensity of exercise increases
  • (2) mechanism that regulates the activity of guard cells
  • (3) action of white blood cells when certain bacteria enter the body
  • (4) mechanism that maintains the proper level of antibiotics in the blood
Answer: (3) action of white blood cells when certain bacteria enter the body

24. The ivory-billed woodpecker, long thought to be extinct, was recently reported to be living in a southern swamp area. The most ecologically appropriate way to ensure the natural survival of this population of birds is to

  • (1) feed them daily with corn and other types of grain
  • (2) destroy their natural enemies and predators
  • (3) move the population of birds to a zoo
  • (4) limit human activities in the habitat of the bird
Answer: (4) limit human activities in the habitat of the bird

25. Millions of acres of tropical rain forest are being destroyed each year. Which change would most likely occur over time if the burning and clearing of these forests were stopped?

  • (1) an increase in the amount of atmospheric pollution produced
  • (2) a decrease in the source of new medicines
  • (3) an increase in the amount of oxygen released into the atmosphere
  • (4) a decrease in the number of species
Answer: (3) an increase in the amount of oxygen released into the atmosphere 

26. The diagram below represents a biological process taking place in an area of New York State unaffected by natural disasters.

Living Environment January 2009

Which statement correctly describes a stage in this process?

  • (1) The grass stage is the most stable stage and exists for thousands of years.
  • (2) The shrub stage modifies the ecosystem, making it more suitable for the pine forest.
  • (3) The pine forest stage has no biodiversity and the least competition.
  • (4) The hardwood forest stage will be replaced by a pine forest.
Answer: (2) The shrub stage modifies the ecosystem, making it more suitable for the pine forest.

27. Which sequence of natural events is likely to lead to ecosystem stability?

  • (1) sexual reproduction → genetic variation → biodiversity → ecosystem stability
  • (2) asexual reproduction → genetic variation → cloning → ecosystem stability
  • (3) genetic variation → asexual reproduction → biodiversity → ecosystem stability
  • (4) genetic variation → sexual reproduction → cloning → ecosystem stability
Answer: (1) sexual reproduction → genetic variation → biodiversity → ecosystem stability

28. The Susquehanna River, which runs through the states of New York, Pennsylvania, and Maryland, received the designation “America’s Most Endangered River” in 2005. One of the river’s problems results from the large number of sewage overflow sites that are found along the course of the river. These sewage overflow sites are a direct result of an increase in

  • (1) global warming
  • (2) human population
  • (3) recycling programs
  • (4) atmospheric changes
Answer: (2) human population

29. Many farmers plant corn, and then harvest the entire plant at the end of the growing season. One negative effect of this action is that

  • (1) soil minerals used by corn plants are not recycled
  • (2) corn plants remove acidic compounds from the air all season long
  • (3) corn plants may replace renewable sources of energy
  • (4) large quantities of water are produced by corn plants
Answer: (1) soil minerals used by corn plants are not recycled

30. Which human activity is correctly paired with its likely future consequence?

  • (1) overfishing in the Atlantic — increase in supply of flounder and salmon as food for people
  • (2) development of electric cars or hybrid vehicles — increased rate of global warming
  • (3) use of fossil fuels — depletion of underground coal, oil, and natural gas supplies
  • (4) genetically engineering animals — less food available to feed the world’s population
Answer: (3) use of fossil fuels — depletion of underground coal, oil, and natural gas supplies

 

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