Ap biology evolution, speciation, macroevolution objectives

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Chapter 22

22.1 p452-455 CC 22.1 p455 #1, 2

1. Define evolution.

22.2 p455-460 CC 22.2 p460 #1-3; p468 #1, 2, 3, 7

2. Discuss several observations which suggest relatedness between different species. Note observations of both fossil and living organisms.

3. Explain the fundamental principles that form the foundation of Darwin’s Theory. Including:

  • The relationship between population size and famine, disease, . . .

  • Variability of traits within a population

  • Heritability of physical traits

  • The role of environmental factors on the utility of traits

4. Explain how the processes of artificial and natural selection can cause changes in a population over time.

22.3 p460-467 CC 22.3 p467 #1-3; p468 #4, 5, 6

5. Discuss the following types of evidence as they relate to the evolutionary view. Give examples:

  • Comparative morphology

  • Comparative embryology/development

  • Comparative biochemistry/genetics

Chapter 23

23.1 p469-473 CC 23.1 p473 #1-3; p486 #1, 2

6. Define species & population.

23.2 p473-476 CC 23.2 p476 #1-3; p487 #5, 6, 8

7. Use the Hardy-Weinberg principle to evaluate stability or change in allele frequencies within a population.

23.3 p476-480 CC 23.3 p480 #1-3; p486 #3

8. Define Genetic Drift. Discuss how population size effects genetic drift. Note circumstances which might cause drastic changes in population size.

23.4 p480-485 CC 23.4 p485 #1-4

9. Explain and give examples of each of the following types of natural selection

  • Directional

  • Stabilizing

  • Disruptive

10. Explain how sexual selection differs from natural selection. Give examples.

11. Explain several ways in which genetic variability might arise within a population.



Chapter 24

24.1 p488-492 CC 24.1 p492 #1-2; p505-506 #1, 4, 6, 10

1. Explain the biological species concept. Contrast this concept with other methods of defining species

2. Contrast gene flow with reproductive isolation. Discuss the effects of isolation on the gene pool of a population.
3. Contrast prezygotic and postzygotic barriers to reproduction
24.2 p493-498 CC 24.2 p498 #1-4; p505-506 #2, 5, 7, 8, 9

4. Discuss several mechanisms of reproductive isolation.

5. Define speciation.
6. Discuss circumstances which might logically result in speciation.
7. Distinguish between allopatric, sympatric, and parapatric speciation.
24.3 & 24.4 p498-504 CC 24.3 p501 #1-2; CC 24.4 p504 #1-3; p505 #3
8. Make and interpret diagrams representing patterns of evolution and speciation.
9. Distinguish between gradual and punctuated speciation.

Chapter 25

25.1 p507-510 CC 25.1 p510 #1-3; p532 #2, 5

10. Discuss the conditions of the early earth

11. Discuss several hypotheses regarding the chemistry of formation of macromolecules on the early earth
25.2 p510-514 CC25.2 p514 #1-3; p532 #1,

12. Discuss circumstances which favor the formation of fossils. Recognize several different types of fossils.

13. State the Law of Superposition and use it to infer the relative age of fossils.\
14. Explain the process of radiometric dating
25.3 p514-519 CC 25.3 p519 #1-3; p532-533 #3, 6,

15. Discuss the general pattern that appears in the fossil record. Relate this pattern to Geological Time.

25.4 p519-524 CC 25.4 p 524 #1-3; p532-533 #4, 11

16. Explain the concept of plate tectonics. Discuss the condition of the modern earth from the perspective of plate tectonics.

17. Describe several mass extinction events that appear in the fossil record
18. Define adaptive radiation. Explain the role extinctions play in the radiation of new species
25.5 & 25.6 p525-531 CC 25.5 p529 #1-3; CC 25.6 p530 #1-2

19. Discuss the role of developmental genes in evolution

Do p533 #7, 8, 9, 10

Chapter 26 p536-555 p555 #1-9

20. Explain the modern taxonomic system from the perspective of divergent evolution.
21. Explain how homologous characters are used in the cladistic approach to classification
22. Explain how molecular clocks can be used to make inferences regarding evolutionary history

AP Biology – Sample Essay Questions, Evolution

Name Hour
Chapter 22

Describe the nature of each of the following and discuss the role of natural selection in each situation:

a. Industrial melanism

b. DDT resistance in insects

c. sickle cell anemia and malaria

Charles Darwin proposed that evolution by natural selection was the basis for the differences that he saw in similar organisms as he traveled and collected specimens in South America and on the Galapagos Islands.

a. Explain the theory of evolution by natural selection as presented by Darwin.

b. Each of the following relates to an aspect of evolution by natural selection. Explain three of the following:

  • Convergent evolution and the similarities among species (ecological equivalents) in a particular biome

  • Natural selection and the formation of insecticide resistant insects or antibiotic resistant bacteria

  • Speciation and isolation

  • Natural selection and behavior such as kinesis, fixed-action-pattern, dominance hierarchy, etc.

  • Natural selection and heterozygote advantage

Essay Sample 1

Describe the modern theory of evolution and discuss how it is supported by evidence from two of the following three areas

a. population genetics

b. molecular biology

c. comparative anatomy and embryology

Chapter 23

Do the following with reference to the Hardy-Weinberg model:

a. Indicate the conditions under which allele frequencies (p and q) remain constant from one generation to the next.

b. Calculate, showing all work, the frequencies of the alleles and the frequencies of the genotypes in a population of 100,000 rabbits, of which 25,000 are white (recessive, w) and 75,000 are agouti (dominant, W)

c. If the homozygous dominant condition were to become lethal, what would happen to the allelic and genotypic frequencies in the rabbit population in 2 generations?

In a laboratory population of diploid, sexually reproducing organisms a certain trait is studied. This trait is determined by a single autosomal gene is expressed as two phenotypes. A new population was created by crossing 51 pure-breeding (homozygous) dominant individuals with 49 pure-breeding (homozygous) recessive individuals. After four generations, the following results were obtained:

Generation Dominant Recessive Total

1 51 49 100

2 280 0 280

3 240 80 320

4 300 100 400

5 360 120 480

a. Identify an organism that might have been used to perform this experiment, and explain why this organism is a good choice for conducting this experiment.

b. On the basis of the data, propose a hypothesis that explains the change in the phenotypic frequency between generation 1 and generation 3

c. Is there evidence indicating whether or not this population is in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium? Explain.

Chapter 24
Essay Sample 2

Define, discuss, and give an example of how each of the following isolating mechanisms contributes to speciation in organisms.

a. geographical barriers

b. ecological (including seasonal) isolation

c. behavioral isolation

d. polyploidy


Describe the process of speciation. Include in your discussion the factors that may contribute to the maintenance of genetic isolation.

Broad Based Concepts

The evolutionary success of organisms depends on reproduction. Some groups of organisms reproduce asexually, some reproduce sexually, while others reproduce both sexually and asexually.

a. Using THREE different organisms, give an example of one organism that reproduces sexually, one that reproduces sexually, and one that reproduces BOTH sexually and asexually. For each organism given as an example, describe two reproductive adaptations. These adaptations may be behavioral, structural, and/or functional.

b. What environmental conditions would favor sexual reproduction? Explain. What environmental conditions would favor asexual reproduction? Explain.


The complexity of structure and function varies widely across the animal kingdom. Despite this variation, animals exhibit common processes. These include the following:

  • Transport of materials

  • Response to stimuli

  • Gas exchange

  • Locomotion

a. Choose two of the processes above and for each, describe the relevant structures and how they function to accomplish the process in the following phyla

Cnideria (e.g., hydra, jellyfish)

Annelida (e.g., earthworm)

Chordata (e.g., mouse)

b. Explain the adaptive (evolutionary) value(s) of the structural examples you described in part a


Darwin is considered the “father of evolutionary biology”. Four of his contributions to the field of evolutionary biology are listed below.

  • The nonconstancy of species

  • Branching evolution, which implies the common descent of all species

  • Occurrence of gradual changes in species

  • Natural selection as the mechanism for evolution

a. For EACH of the contributions listed above, discuss one example of supporting evidence.

b. Darwin’s ideas have been enhanced and modified as new knowledge and technologies have become available. Discuss how TWO of the following have modified biologists’ interpretations of Darwin’s original contributions.

  • Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium

  • Punctuated equilibrium

  • Genetic engineering

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