New York State Chemistry RegentsNew York State Earth Science Regents

Living Environment Regents August 2010 Question 24 PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 27 May 2011 13:22

Correct answer: (1) stable ecosystem that can last for many years

The community illustrated went through an ecological succession, or transition of species compositions over time. The community passed through a sequence of predictable transitional stages until it reached a relatively stable state called a climax community. During this stage, there will be minimal changes in the composition of species in the community because the resources are abundant and the environment is suitable for the survival of most species.

Incorrect answers:

(2) lost heterotrophs that cannot be recovered

Heterotrophs are organisms that obtain organic food molecules by eating other organisms or their by-products. When a climax community is been reached, all the trophic levels are filled up to maintain the stability of the community. If heterotrophic organisms are absent, climax community would not be achieved.

(3) long-term rise in environmental temperatures

Temperature is an abiotic factor that depends on the amount of sunlight that can enter on the earth's atmosphere. A climax community is usually characterized by the predominance of trees that serve as shade for shade-loving plants and other forms of wildlife that cannot tolerate the extreme heat of the sun. Thus, when climax community is reached, the temperature under the canopy of the trees is decreased.

(4) forest consisting of only producers and decomposers

A climax community is composed of not just producers and decomposers but also a number of consumers. This state is reached only when all the trophic levels are present, meaning there are producers, consumers, and decomposers.

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