Living Environment January 2016

Living Environment January 2016 Questions Answer Keys

The University of the State of New York
Regents High School Examination
Living Environment
Wednesday, January 27, 2016 — 9:15 a.m. to 12:15 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. Bacteria and humans are similar in that they both

  • (1) contain genetic material
  • (2) are single-celled
  • (3) lack cell organelles
  • (4) carry out autotrophic nutrition
Answer: (1) contain genetic material

2. Which cell structure is mainly responsible for releasing energy from food molecules in some single-celled organisms?

  • (1) ribosome
  • (2) chloroplast
  • (3) cell membrane
  • (4) mitochondrion
Answer: (4) mitochondrion 

3. During gas exchange, the cell membrane of a single-celled organism has the same function as which organ system in humans?

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

4. An ecosystem is self-sustaining as long as organisms have sufficient quantities of energy, oxygen, minerals, and water. When organisms die, some of these materials are recycled back to plants in the ecosystem primarily through the activity of

  • (1) predators
  • (2) decomposers
  • (3) pathogens
  • (4) parasites
Answer: (2) decomposers 

5. Which sequence represents structures organized from least complex to most complex?

  • (1) nerve cell → nucleus → nervous system → brain
  • (2) nucleus → nerve cell → brain → nervous system
  • (3) brain → nervous system → nucleus → nerve cell
  • (4) nervous system → brain → nerve cell → nucleus
Answer: (2) nucleus → nerve cell → brain → nervous system 

6. Which group consists entirely of organic molecules?

  • (1) protein, oxygen, fat
  • (2) protein, starch, fat
  • (3) water, carbon dioxide, oxygen
  • (4) water, starch, protein
Answer: (2) protein, starch, fat 

7. A scientist plans to cut a segment of DNA so that it can be inserted into the DNA of a bacterium, a single-celled organism. The scientist needs to use a special type of organic molecule to perform this cutting process. This molecule is

  • (1) a lipid
  • (2) a carbohydrate
  • (3) an enzyme
  • (4) a hormone
Answer: (3) an enzyme 

8. A finite resource in the environment that keeps a population from steadily increasing is known as

  • (1) dynamic equilibrium
  • (2) a limiting factor
  • (3) a reproductive enzyme
  • (4) ecological succession
Answer: (2) a limiting factor 

9. Human reproduction usually involves

  • (1) internal fertilization and internal development
  • (2) external fertilization and external development
  • (3) internal fertilization and external development
  • (4) external fertilization and internal development
Answer: (1) internal fertilization and internal development 

10. Even though human proteins are synthesized from only 20 different amino acids, there are thousands of different proteins found in human cells. This great variety of proteins is possible because the

  • (1) size of a specific amino acid can vary within a protein
  • (2) chemical composition of a specific amino acid can vary
  • (3) sequence and number of amino acids can be different in each protein
  • (4) same amino acid can have many different properties
Answer: (3) sequence and number of amino acids can be different in each protein 

11. Aphids, small insects that feed on the sap of plants, undergo asexual reproduction during the summer months. They produce eggs that are formed without the separation of chromosomes. These eggs do not need to be fertilized, and all of the resulting offspring are female.

Living Environment January 2016 Questions 11

The best explanation for all of these offspring being female is that

  • (1) there is not enough food to support male aphids
  • (2) asexual reproduction produces offspring with many mutations
  • (3) only the females are able to feed on the sap of the plants
  • (4) asexual reproduction produces offspring that are genetically identical to the parent
Answer: (4) asexual reproduction produces offspring that are genetically identical to the parent 

12. Potato farmers in Ireland during the mid 1800s all grew the same type of potato. The potato plants were all produced as clones of one another. When a fungus infected the crop, all of the potatoes were destroyed. This occurred because these potato plants

  • (1) had little genetic variability
  • (2) had increased biodiversity
  • (3) were the product of fertilization
  • (4) were the result of biotechnology
Answer: (1) had little genetic variability 

13. A cell is represented in the diagram below.

Living Environment January 2016 Questions 13

The coded information that the cell uses to synthesize many different proteins is stored in structure

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

14. Wildflowers grow and reproduce during the spring snowmelt in the desert region of Death Valley, California. Which environmental factor would most likely have the greatest influence on these activities?

  • (1) percentage of nitrogen in the atmosphere
  • (2) number of plant species in the area
  • (3) variety of scavengers in the ecosystem
  • (4) amount of time that water is present
Answer: (4) amount of time that water is present 

15. Which statement best describes how a major change in the size of one population affects an ecosystem?

  • (1) It will immediately affect every population and the physical conditions.
  • (2) It will affect the physical conditions, but not the other populations.
  • (3) It could directly or indirectly affect the physical conditions and any population.
  • (4) It affects every population, not the physical conditions.
Answer: (3) It could directly or indirectly affect the physical conditions and any population. 

16. The diagram below represents a stage in the development of a fetus.

Living Environment January 2016 Questions 16

A major function of structure X is to

  • (1) produce gametes by meiosis
  • (2) protect the fetus from physical injury
  • (3) exchange materials between the mother and the fetus
  • (4) store food to provide the fetus with nutrients
Answer: (3) exchange materials between the mother and the fetus 

17. Which statement is most likely correct regarding soil bacteria that inhabit the polar regions of Earth?

  • (1) They do not carry out the process of respiration.
  • (2) They contain enzymes that function at low temperatures.
  • (3) They are part of the abiotic resources of that ecosystem.
  • (4) They do not reproduce.
Answer: (2) They contain enzymes that function at low temperatures. 

18. Some plants increase in height due to changes in specialized regions of cells in the tips of their branches. The processes that result in these changes include

  • (1) meiosis, cell growth, and cloning
  • (2) mitosis, zygote formation, and cloning
  • (3) meiosis, gamete formation, and differentiation
  • (4) mitosis, cell growth, and differentiation
Answer: (4) mitosis, cell growth, and differentiation 

19. The hormone adrenaline can affect only cells with

  • (1) appropriately shaped receptors
  • (2) the appropriate antibodies
  • (3) ribosomes that produce adrenaline
  • (4) genes that break down adrenaline
Answer: (1) appropriately shaped receptors 

20. The diagram below shows part of the human body with some organs that help to carry out the removal of wastes.

Living Environment January 2016 Questions 20

The energy necessary to perform this function comes directly from the (1) exchange of H2O and

  • (1) exchange of H2O and O2 during respiration
  • (2) blood flowing through the organs
  • (3) ATP molecules produced during cellular respiration
  • (4) water that is eliminated by the organs
Answer: (3) ATP molecules produced during cellular respiration 

21. In living cells, chemical processes, such as synthesis, all require the action of

  • (1) specialized antibiotics
  • (2) hormones
  • (3) salts
  • (4) biological catalysts
Answer: (4) biological catalysts 

22. Plants that live in hot, dry climates have evolved mechanisms to help conserve limited water supplies. One example is the closing of leaf openings by guard cells during the day to decrease water loss from their leaves. This detection of and response to an environmental stimulus is an example of

  • (1) a feedback mechanism
  • (2) a genetic mutation
  • (3) an organ malfunction
  • (4) an allergic reaction
Answer: (1) a feedback mechanism 

23. Which sequence best represents the flow of energy through an ecosystem?

  • (1) Sun → green plants → herbivores → carnivores
  • (2) Sun → herbivores → producers → consumers
  • (3) green plants → carnivores → consumers → herbivores
  • (4) consumers → carnivores → herbivores → producers
Answer: (1) Sun → green plants → herbivores → carnivores 

24. A student set up a small freshwater fish tank. The tank included water, fish, gravel, a snail, and plants, as represented below.

Living Environment January 2016 Questions 24

Which statement best describes an activity performed by a student investigating an abiotic factor using this setup?

  • (1) He records the temperature of the water.
  • (2) He feeds the fish 0.5 gram of fish food twice a day.
  • (3) He measures the growth of the plants with a metric ruler.
  • (4) He observes the snail scrape algae off the gravel.
Answer: (1) He records the temperature of the water. 

25. Which situation is most likely to lead to ecological succession?

  • (1) The fish populations in a large lake remain the same for many years.
  • (2) Hunters are allowed to hunt wolves, with no limits, for one season.
  • (3) The amount of industrialization increased in an area, resulting in the increased burning of fossil fuels.
  • (4) A farmer who has planted corn for many years retires, and the field is left abandoned.
Answer: (4) A farmer who has planted corn for many years retires, and the field is left abandoned. 

26. The diagram below represents interactions that occur between some organisms in an ecosystem.

Living Environment January 2016 Questions 26

Which factor would most likely cause an increase in the number of frogs?

  • (1) an increase in the number of deer
  • (2) a decrease in the amount of grasses
  • (3) an increase in the number of snakes
  • (4) a decrease in the amount of trees
Answer: (3) an increase in the number of snakes 

27. Members of a bird-watching club observed the activities of three species of birds for an entire spring and summer. They noticed that the different species fed at different heights in the same pine tree. Which ecological concept is supported by this observation?

  • (1) Organisms that feed on different foods in the same area of an ecosystem fill the same niche.
  • (2) Organisms that live in the same ecosystem can occupy different niches in the ecosystem.
  • (3) Different species feeding in the same ecosystem will eventually compete with each other, eliminating all the species except one.
  • (4) Different species living in the same area of an ecosystem usually have the same physical characteristics.
Answer: (2) Organisms that live in the same ecosystem can occupy different niches in the ecosystem. 

28. Which factor would be least likely to contribute to the development of a new species?

  • (1) plentiful resources within the environment occupied by the species
  • (2) increased genetic variation within the species
  • (3) changes in the environment of the species
  • (4) the ability of the species to increase its numbers by sexual reproduction
Answer: (1) plentiful resources within the environment occupied by the species 

29. Water pollution as a result of fertilizer runoff from farms is harmful because it initially

  • (1) changes the chemical composition of nearby streams and lakes
  • (2) adds ozone to the atmosphere, increasing global temperatures
  • (3) decreases the water temperature of streams and lakes
  • (4) decreases the amount of nutrient recycling in lakes
Answer: (1) changes the chemical composition of nearby streams and lakes 

30. Overfishing has depleted the rich harvests of fish from the oceans. As a solution, a large industry that cultivates shrimp and fish in warm coastal ponds has been developed. To make way for these ponds, mangrove forests are cut down. Local organisms are displaced. In order for people to decide if this new fish farming technology is a good long-term solution, they must consider

  • (1) the risks and costs as well as the benefits
  • (2) that the mangrove forests would probably die off someday anyway
  • (3) that food production is always more important than any other concern
  • (4) the number of fish produced in the first year as compared with ocean fishing
Answer: (1) the risks and costs as well as the benefits 

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