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Dutchtown High School

149 Mitchell Road Hampton GA 30228

Office: 770-515-7510 Fax: 770-515-7518

Course Title: AP Biology Instructor: Mrs. Shaheen Begum

School Web Page: Email:

Teacher’s Web Page:

Have fun with this assignment. You will need the text book for this assignment which needs to be checked out from the school, the week of May 24th. If by any chance, you haven’t contact the Instructional Administrator Ms.Johnson at DHS. AP Biology will be challenging but rewarding. If you need to contact me with questions, problems, etc., please do so by e-mail: This assignment is due August 03rd, 2010. There will be a quiz on the vocabulary words on the August 02nd, 2010 and a test on August 06th over the summer assignment. When school starts, we will quickly move through many topics. I will begin with the assumption that you are aware of basic chemistry and basic cellular structure and function since biology and chemistry are pre-requisites for this course. Therefore, you may need to allow extra time to study these two concepts if you feel you are weak in these areas.

TASK #1 - Getting ready for Biology-Please read Chapter 1- Introduction: Themes in the Study of Life.

TASK # 2 – Ecology Unit and Ch 51

When school starts, we will quickly discuss Ecology and perform various labs and supplemental activities - however, the bulk of the work is yours.

1. Chapters: 51-56

2. Unit 8 and Ch 51 Study Guide below:

Define all terms and answer all questions.

3. Required reading:

Abstract 5 Ecology related articles. See the handout on abstracting articles for the "How -To". We will be abstracting other articles periodically throughout the year - this should initiate you into the world of reading scientific literature. **No web articles allowed. (Refer the guidelines below)

  1. Ecology Free response questions: Refer to for guidelines

There are literally hundreds of sources you can use to aid you in constructing answers to the following - please list the ones you use. These questions are similar to the ones you will be required to answer during the free response section of the AP Biology Exam which contributes to 40 % of your grade on tests. Answer each question as completely as possible - use diagrams to supplement your discussion - be as thorough as possible.

Unit 8 – Ecology

Study Guide
(Chapters 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56)

Chapter 51 ~ Behavioral Biology

Major Concepts:

Behavior results from both genes and environmental factors.

Innate behavior is developmentally fixed.
Classical ethology presaged an evolutionary approach to behavioral biology.
Behavioral ecology emphasizes evolutionary hypotheses.
Learning is experience-based modification of behavior.
Imprinting is learning limited to a critical time period.
Many animals can learn to associate one stimulus with another.
Practice and exercise may explain the ultimate bases of play.
The study of cognition connects nervous system function with behavior.
Movement from place to place often depends on internal coding of spatial relationships.
The study of consciousness poses a unique challenge for scientists.
Sociobiology places social behavior in an evolutionary context.
Competitive social behaviors often represent contests for resources.
Mating behavior relates directly to an animal’s fitness.
Social interactions depend on diverse modes of communication.
The concept of inclusive fitness can account for most altruistic behavior.
Sociobiology connects evolutionary theory to human culture.


  • behavior

  • ethology

  • fixed action pattern (FAP)

  • sign stimulus

  • behavioral ecology

  • learning

  • maturation

  • habituation

  • imprinting

  • critical period

  • associative learning

  • classical conditioning

  • operant conditioning

  • kinesis

  • taxis

  • social behavior

  • sociobiology

  • agonistic behavior

  • dominance hierarchy

  • territory

  • parental investment

  • promiscuous

  • monogamous

  • polygamous

  • polygyny

  • polyandry

  • pheromones

  • altruism

  • inclusive fitness

  • coefficient of relatedness

  • kin selection

  • reciprocal altruism

Chapter 52 ~ An Introduction to Ecology and The Biosphere

Major Concepts:

Ecology is the scientific study of the interactions between organisms and their environments.

Ecological research ranges from the adaptations of organisms to the dynamics of ecosystems.
Ecology provides a scientific context for evaluating environmental issues.
Climate and other abiotic factors are important determinants of the biosphere’s distribution of organisms.
Aquatic biomes occupy the largest part of the biosphere.
The geographical distribution of terrestrial biomes is based mainly on regional variations in climate.
The costs and benefits of homeostasis affect an organism’s responses to environmental variation.
An organism’s short-term responses to environmental variations operate within a long-term evolutionary framework.


  • ecology

  • abiotic components

  • biotic components

  • population

  • community

  • ecosystem

  • biosphere

  • climate

  • biome

  • tropics

  • turnover

  • photic zone

  • aphotic zone

  • thermocline

  • benthic zone

  • benthos

  • detritus

  • littoral zone

  • limnetic zone

  • profundal zone

  • oligotrophic

  • eutrophic

  • mesotrophic

  • wetland

  • estuary

  • intertidal zone

  • neritic zone

  • oceanic zone

  • pelagic zone

  • benthic zone

  • coral reef

  • oceanic pelagic biome

  • abyssal zone

  • canopy

  • permafrost

Chapter 52 ~ Population Ecology

Major Concepts:

Two important characteristics of any population are density and the spacing of individuals.

Demography is the study of factors that affect the growth and decline of a population.
Life histories are highly diverse but exhibit patterns in their variability.
Limited resources mandate trade-offs between investments in reproduction and in survival.
An exponential model of population growth describes an idealized population in an unlimited environment.
A logistic model of population growth incorporates the concept of carrying capacity.
Density-dependent factors regulate population growth by varying with the density.
The occurrence and severity of density-independent factors are unrelated to population density.
A mix of density-dependent and density-independent factors probably limits the growth of most populations.
Some populations have regular boom and bust cycles.
The human population has been growing almost exponentially for centuries but cannot do so indefinitely.


  • population

  • density

  • dispersion

  • mark-recapture method

  • clumped

  • uniform

  • random

  • biogeography

  • demography

  • age structure

  • birthrate

  • death rate

  • life tables

  • survivorship curve

  • life history

  • zero population growth (ZPG)

  • exponential population growth

  • carrying capacity

  • logistic population growth

  • K-selected populations

  • equilibrial populations

  • r-selected populations

  • opportunistic populations

  • intraspecific competition

  • density-dependent factors

  • density-independent factors

Chapter 53 ~ Community Ecology

Major Concepts:

The interactive and individualistic hypotheses pose alternative explanations of community structure.

Interspecific interactions can be strong selection factors in evolution.
Interspecific interactions may have positive, negative, or neutral effects on a population’s density.
Predation and parasitism are +/- interactions.
Interspecific competitions are -/- interactions.
Commensalism and mutualism are +/0 and +/+ interactions, respectively.
Predators can alter community structure by moderating competition among prey species.
Mutualism and parasitism can have community-wide effects.
Interspecific competition influences populations of many species and can affect community structure.
A complex interplay of interspecific interactions and environmental variability characterizes community structure.
Nonequilibrium resulting from a disturbance is a prominent feature of most communities.
Humans are the most widespread agents of disturbance.
Succession is a process of change that results from disturbance in communities.
The nonequilibrial model views communities as mosaics of patches at different stages of succession.
Dispersal and survivability in ecological and evolutionary time account for the geographical ranges of species.
Species diversity on some islands tends to reach a dynamic equilibrium in ecological time.


  • community

  • species richness

  • relative abundance

  • species diversity

  • individualistic hypothesis

  • interactive hypothesis

  • interspecific interactions

  • coevolution

  • predation

  • predator

  • prey

  • parasitism

  • cryptic coloration

  • aposematic coloration

  • mimicry

  • Batesian mimicry

  • Müllerian mimicry

  • parasite

  • host

  • interspecific competition

  • interference competition

  • exploitative competition

  • competitive exclusion principle

  • ecological niche

  • fundamental niche

  • realized niche

  • resource partitioning

  • character displacement

  • symbiosis

  • symbiont

  • commensalism

  • mutualism

  • keystone species

  • exotic species

  • stability

  • ecological succession

  • primary succession

  • secondary succession

Chapter 54 ~ Ecosystems

Major Concepts:

Trophic relationships determine an ecosystem’s routes of energy flow and chemical cycling.

Primary producers include plants, algae, and many species of bacteria.
many primary and higher-order consumers are opportunistic feeders.
Decomposition interconnects all trophic levels.
An ecosystem’s energy budget depends on primary productivity.
As energy flows through an ecosystem, much is lost at each trophic level.
Biological and geological processes move nutrients among organic and inorganic compartments.
Decomposition rates largely determine the rates of chemical cycling.
Field experiments reveal how vegetation regulates chemical cycling.
The human population is disrupting chemical cycles throughout the biosphere.
Toxins can become concentrated in successive trophic levels of food webs.
Human activities are causing fundamental changes in the composition of the atmosphere.
The exploding human population is altering habitats and reducing biodiversity worldwide.


  • ecosystem

  • trophic structure

  • trophic levels

  • primary producers

  • primary consumers

  • secondary consumers

  • tertiary consumers

  • detritivores

  • detritus

  • food chain

  • food webs

  • production

  • consumption

  • decomposition

  • primary productivity

  • gross primary productivity (GPP)

  • net primary productivity (NPP)

  • biomass

  • secondary productivity

  • pyramid of productivity

  • biomass pyramid

  • pyramid of numbers

  • biogeochemical cycles

  • nitrogen fixation

  • nitrification

  • denitrification

  • ammonification

  • biological magnification

  • greenhouse effect

Chapter 55 ~ Conservation Biology

Major Concepts:

Numerous examples indicate that estimates of extinction rates are on track.

The major threats to biodiversity are habitat destruction, overexploitation, and competition by exotic species.
Biodiversity is vital to human welfare.
Change in ecological and evolutionary time is the focus of conservation biology.
Gradual variation in biodiversity correlates with geographical gradients.
Biodiversity hot spots have high concentrations of endemic species.
Migratory species present special problems in conservation.
Sustaining genetic diversity and the environmental arena for evolution is an ultimate goal.
The dynamics of subdivided populations apply to problems caused by habitat fragmentation.
Population viability analyses examine the chances of a species persisting or becoming extinct in the habitats available to it.
Analyzing the viability of selected species may help sustain other species.
Conserving species involves weighing conflicting demands.
Edges and corridors can strongly influence landscape biodiversity.
Nature reserves must be functional parts of landscapes.
Restoring degraded areas is an increasingly important conservation effort.
Sustainable development goals are reorienting ecological research and will require changing some human values.


  • conservation biology

  • biodiversity crisis

  • biodiversity hot spot

  • endemic species

  • endangered species

  • threatened species

  • bioremediation


  1. Define population, community, ecosystem, and biosphere. Indicating how each is related to the others.

  2. Define population density. Give two methods biologists use to estimate population densities and
    distinguish between uniform, clumped, and random distributions, and indicate the conditions under
    which one is the most common.

  3. Draw an exponential growth curve (J-shaped curve). Write the equation for the intrinsic rate of
    increase, defining all the terms used in the equation.

  4. Draw a logistic growth curve(S-shaped curve), and label the carrying capacity, the inflection point,
    the portion of the curve showing an accelerating rate of population growth, and the portion showing a
    decelerating rate. Compare this curve with the exponential curve. Then explain what is meant by zero
    population growth, and describe how this condition is reached.

  5. Explain how density-dependent and density-independent factors operate in limiting population

  6. On a single graph draw type I, type II, and type III survivorship curves. Explain each curve briefly at
    the bottom of the graph.

  7. Construct a table showing the differences between r-selected species and K-selected species with
    respect to body size, life-span, number of offspring, relative time of reproduction (earlier or later in life),
    type of survivorship curve, type of growth curve (S-shaped or boom-and-bust).

  8. Contrast r and k species; give examples of each to illustrate your points.

  9. Using examples, discuss the ways in which parasitism, predation, intraspecific competition,
    emigration, mutualism, and physiological and behavioral mechanisms can act as density-dependent
    limitations on population growth. Explain, using an example, how destroying the balance between
    predator and prey in a community can upset the ecology of an area.

  1. What are the five properties of communities?

  2. Carefully define the concept of ecological niche, and explain its significance with respect to the
    competitive exclusion principle. Specify the three possible results of intense interspecific competition.

  3. Discuss, using an example, the relationship between species diversity and complexity and
    community stability. Describe the effect of human intervention in biological communities.

  4. Describe the process of ecological succession, indicating why the species in a given area change
    over time. Distinguish between primary and secondary successions, and give an example of each. Also,
    summarize the trends seen in many successions, and explain what is meant by a climax community.

  5. Explain the types of interspecies relationships and tell how each member of the pair is affected by
    the interaction (include predation, parasitism, commensalism and mutualism).

15. Diagram the flow of energy through an ecosystem, including the following: producers, decomposers,
primary consumers, secondary consumers, tertiary. State the difference between a food chain and a food

16. Distinguish between gross primary productivity and net primary productivity.

17. Explain why the distribution of productivity within an ecosystem can always be represented as a
pyramid, and why there are seldom more than four levels in a food chain. In doing so, specify the
percentage of energy present at one trophic level that can usually be passed on to the next, and indicate
the reason for the great decrease from level to level in the amount of available energy.

18. Describe the pyramid of biomass and the pyramid of numbers and explain why these pyramids do not
apply to all populations.

19. Using a diagram, describe the carbon cycle. In doing so, explain how carbon enters the living system,

and how it leaves, indicate the role of microorganisms in the cycle, and identify the reservoir for carbon.

20. Using a diagram, describe the nitrogen cycle. In doing so, explain how nitrogen enters the living

system, indicate the role of microorganisms such as bacteria in the cycle.

21. Explain the concept of biological magnification, use DDT, mercury or radioactive isotopes as your


Free Response Questions
Question #1 -

A very long-term trip into deep space, lasting at least a decade, is being planned. You have been assigned the responsibility of designing a balanced ecosystem that will meet the need of you and several others in the spaceship. Cite the specific types of organisms that you would take and include the role that each would play in the ecosystem. (Assume that the problem of temperature control in the spaceship has been solved).

Question #2-

Living organisms play an important role in the recycling of many elements within an ecosystem. Discuss how various types of organisms and their biochemical reactions contribute to the recycling of either carbon or nitrogen in an ecosystem. Include in your answer one way in which human activity has had an impact in the nutrient cycle you have chosen.

Question #3 -

Interdependence in nature is illustrated by the transfer of energy through trophic levels. The diagram below depicts the transfer of energy in an Artic food web.

  1. Choosing organisms from four different trophic levels of this food web as
    examples, explain how energy is obtained at each trophic level.

  2. Describe the efficiency of energy transfer between trophic levels and discuss
    how the amount of energy available at each trophic level affects the structure of
    the ecosystem.

  3. If the cells in the dead terrestrial plant material that washed into the ocean
    contained a commercially produced toxin, what would be the likely effects of this
    toxin on this food web? Explain.

Preparing an Abstract
An abstract is a summary or synopsis of an article in a journal or magazine. Abstracts should relate the article to the relevant biology topic. The purpose of preparing abstracts is to acquaint you with scientific literature and to expose you to current topics in biology.

Abstracts will be given a letter grade based on appropriateness, technicality of the writing, and proper grammatical format.

Choosing an Article

Articles may be chosen from science journals listed below:

American Scientist Natural History

Audubon Oceans

Audubon South Science

Bioscience Science News

Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists SciQuest (Chemistry)

Current Health Scientific American

Discover Sea Frontiers/Sea Secrets

Environment Sierra Club Bulletin

International Wildlife Smithsonian

National Geographic National Wildlife

Special Restrictions

Articles to be abstracted must be at least two pages long. Articles should be chosen from journals published during the twelve moths prior to the abstract due date. Articles which do not have to meet this requirement are those “classical” articles selected from the Recommended Reading section in your textbook or your syllabus.

The abstract heading must be in the proper format. An example of a proper heading and a sample abstract can be found below. The abstract should be no longer than two pages in length. Please be careful to avoid plagiarism.
Special Notes:

Science articles tend to be extremely technical and very restricted in scope. Scientific American articles, while long and somewhat technical, tend to be more general and are excellent for abstracting. If you are unfamiliar with science journals, you may wish to begin with articles from a layman’s journal (for example, Discover) or Carolina Biology Readers and work up to Scientific American. Believe me – it gets easier with practice!

Sample Abstract
Taussig, Helen B. The Thalidomide Syndrome. Scientific American, March 1962, pp. 29-35.
In the period from 1959 until 1961, approximately 6000 infants were born in West Germany with severe deformities of the limbs. In the decade preceding 1959, there had been no more than 15 instances of phocomelia, as this deformity is called, in West Germany. The disease was traced to a new drug, thalidomide, which had come into widespread use in sedatives and sleeping tablets.

Ingestion of as little as 100 milligrams during the third through sixth weeks of pregnancy can cause the characteristic limb deformities seen with phocomelia. During this period, the first signs of future limbs appear. The fact that the arm buds develop slightly earlier than the leg buds may be important in accounting for the greater frequency of arm damage. The drug apparently arrests and deranges those processes of development that are in progress when the embryo is exposed to it.

Fortunately, the drug never reached the market in the United States. Clearance for marketing was delayed because the initial submission of papers was found to be incomplete. By the time the papers were completed, information was already surfacing which indicated that thalidomide was not the “harmless” drug it was once thought to be. The concern over the tragedy that could have happened in the United States resulted in more extensive testing of drugs marketed for humans, especially those to be used by pregnant women.
Abstract Article

Write-Up Guidelines
Please organize your write-ups using the following sections, and number them accordingly:
Author, Title, Publication Date, Article Number, etc.
Define or describe the major terms in the title and tell basically why the subject is important.
What was the article all about?

What were the main concepts and ideas that were discussed?

What was the question the author was investigating?

What methods did he/she use?

What evidence was uncovered to support a new idea?

Were any old ideas overturned?

This part should make up the main body of your paper

Despite the fact that an abstract is quite brief, it must do almost as much work as the multi-page paper that follows it. In a computer architecture paper, this means that it should in most cases include the following sections. Each section is typically a single sentence, although there is room for creativity. In particular, the parts may be merged or spread among a set of sentences. Use the following as a checklist for your next abstract:

  • Motivation:
    Why do we care about the problem and the results? If the problem isn't obviously "interesting" it might be better to put motivation first; but if your work is incremental progress on a problem that is widely recognized as important, then it is probably better to put the problem statement first to indicate which piece of the larger problem you are breaking off to work on. This section should include the importance of your work, the difficulty of the area, and the impact it might have if successful.

  • Problem statement:
    What problem are you trying to solve? What is the scope of your work (a generalized approach, or for a specific situation)? Be careful not to use too much jargon. In some cases it is appropriate to put the problem statement before the motivation, but usually this only works if most readers already understand why the problem is important.

  • Approach:
    How did you go about solving or making progress on the problem? Did you use simulation, analytic models, prototype construction, or analysis of field data for an actual product? What was the extent of your work (did you look at one application program or a hundred programs in twenty different programming languages?) What important variables did you control, ignore, or measure?

  • Results:
    What's the answer? Specifically, most good computer architecture papers conclude that something is so many percent faster, cheaper, smaller, or otherwise better than something else. Put the result there, in numbers. Avoid vague, hand-waving results such as "very", "small", or "significant." If you must be vague, you are only given license to do so when you can talk about orders-of-magnitude improvement. There is a tension here in that you should not provide numbers that can be easily misinterpreted, but on the other hand you don't have room for all the caveats.

  • Conclusions:
    What are the implications of your answer? Is it going to change the world (unlikely), be a significant "win", be a nice hack, or simply serve as a road sign indicating that this path is a waste of time (all of the previous results are useful). Are your results general, potentially generalizable, or specific to a particular case?

Restate the main areas of importance in the magazine article and discuss the quality of it from your perspective

as a student of biology. Did you find it interesting? useful? readable? boring? Would you recommend it to the

other members of the class? Please explain the answers that you give to these questions. Do not leave out this

important section.
When you turn in your write-up, please attach your copy of the article to your paper with a paper clip.
Remember that these reports are, in their entirety, pledged work. When you are finished, write out and sign the

Honor Statement on the paper.

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