New York State Chemistry RegentsNew York State Earth Science Regents

 
Ecology
Living Environment Regents June 2010 Question 24 PDF Print E-mail
NYS Living Environment Regents June 2010
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Correct answer: (2) Certain producer organisms would become more abundant in these areas.

Since manatees are herbivores, meaning they eat plants and algae, which are producers, then their extinction can cause an increase in the population of these producer organisms.

Incorrect answers:

(1) The biodiversity of these areas would not be affected.

One of the components of biodiversity is species richness or the number of species in a particular area. This means that the manatees' extinction can affect biodiversity.

(3) Other manatees would move into these area and restore the population.

Extinction means total loss of an organism in the whole ecosystem. Thus, once the manatees become extinct, there would be no other members of the species that can move, reproduce, and restore the population.

(4) Predators in these areas would occupy higher levels on the food pyramid.

The predators cannot move up the food pyramid because there would be a decrease in food that they could eat.
 
Living Environment Regents June 2010 Question 23 PDF Print E-mail
NYS Living Environment Regents June 2010
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Correct answer: (4) make inorganic materials available to plants

The organic material that makes up the living organisms in an ecosystem is eventually recycled, broken down and returned to the abiotic environment in forms that can be used by plants. Decomposers, which feed on nonliving organic material, are responsible for this recycling process. Bacteria and fungi are the most important decomposers in the environment because they secrete enzymes that digest organic materials and then absorb the breakdown products. Other decomposers, such as earthworms, crayfish, and cockroaches, digest organic materials. Then they breakdown the organic material and release inorganic products like carbon dioxide and ammonia. These will then be used by plants. Decomposers are also called heterotrophs.

Incorrect answers:

(1) produce food for plants by the process of photosynthesis

Plants do not need other organisms in order to get nutrition. Plants are known as producers or autotrophs, simply because they can produce their own food through photosynthesis, a process that uses light to synthesize sugars and other organic compounds to be used for cellular respiration and growth. On the other hand, those organisms that directly or indirectly depend on the photosynthetic output of producers are the decomposers or heterotrophs.

(2) provide energy for plants by the process of decay

Decomposers decay or breakdown organic materials to provide plants with inorganic compounds like carbon dioxide and ammonia, not energy.

(3) can rapidly produce and evolve

Decomposers do not have advantage on evolution compared to other members of the food web. Just like other organisms with different roles in the food web, they must follow the requirements for evolution. Not all decomposers can also reproduce faster than the others. For instance, fungi need suitable moist environment before they can multiply.
 
Living Environment Regents June 2010 Question 01 PDF Print E-mail
NYS Living Environment Regents June 2010
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Correct Answer: (4) It obtains nutrients from its environment.

Heterotrophs are organisms that obtain organic food molecules by eating other organisms or their by-products, unlike autotrophs, which can produce their own food by converting light energy from the sun into chemical energy through photosynthesis. Mushroom spores grow on their food (e.g. wood, soil), from which they absorb organic matter to derive energy.

Incorrect Answers:

(1)   It manufactures its own food.

Mushrooms produce food by absorbing organic matter from their substrate to obtain energy. It cannot produce food on its own unlike plants and algae that gather light energy and transform it into chemical energy through photosynthesis. Organisms that can produce their own food are called autotrophs.

(2)   It divides by mitosis.

Heterotrophic refers to a characteristic of organisms that function through a certain mode of nutrition wherein they obtain energy by absorbing nutrients from living or dead matter. On the other hand, mitosis is a type of cell division wherein the chromosome number of the offspring is the same with their parents'. The type of cell division has no direct link on the mode of nutrition of organisms.

(3)   It transforms light energy into chemical energy,

Organisms that have the ability to transform light energy into chemical energy are called autotrophs ("autos" means self and "trophe" means nutrition in Greek). Mushrooms cannot absorb light energy to make its own food, thus they are not considered as autotrophs.
 
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