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Senior Biology Chapter 1 Answers

Review Questions 1. Ecosystem: An ecosystem is a community of living organisms interacting with one another and their physical surroundings. An ecosystem is self-sustaining. Community: A community is all of the living organisms in an area. 2. An aviary is not an ecosystem as it is not self-sustaining. The aviary needs to be cleaned out and the owner needs to provide suitable perches, food and water for the birds to survive. 3a All three are examples of ecosystems as they are clearly defined by their physical factors and community. Each is a self-sustaining system. 3b The most significant differences are the types of vegetation present. In turn, the vegetation affects what animals are present. All three differ significantly in their respective physical factors, especially the quantity and type of water present. (Rainforests have a high rainfall which is fresh water, mangroves are tidal and therefore have salty water and mitchell grass downs have very little water for most of the year due to limited rainfall.) 3c Many Australian rainforests have been logged as the timber is of very good quality. In the early days of European settlement rainforests were cleared as they were though to have very fertile soil. The rainforest ecosystems have decreased in size and are now vulnerable to weather changes. For example, a cyclone can have a significant impact on the northern Queensland rainforests. Mangroves have been drained and filled in to produce attractive water-front land for housing. These areas are vulnerable to tidal changes and the seafood industry in Australia has been negatively affected by the lack of breeding grounds. The Mitchell grass downs now exist in an area that has been extensively cleared for grazing and it is hard to say what the original ecosystem was like. 4. The geographical distribution of an organism is the total range or area where members of the species can be found. It does not indicate the range of individual members. The environment of an organism is its physical surroundings. It consists of both biotic and abiotic factors. The habitat of an organism is where it lives. Some organisms have a large habitat and some have a very small habitat. The more restrictive the habitat needs of an organism the more it is at risk from changes wrought by human activity. The niche of an organism is its particular role in an ecosystem as well as its location. 5a All of the organisms in the diagram occupy different niches. Some organisms, such as the snake eel and the worm eel may have similar niches. A microhabitat is a habitat that is a very small area within a habitat that has specific environmental factors that set it apart. 5c One microhabitat in the diagram is a space beneath a rock where the blue crab is found. In its position it would have less sunlight than the rest of the rock pool as well as be less exposed to wave action. It also provides safety from predators such as the cormorant. The crab has a tough outer covering that protects it, gives support and helps maintain water balance. Another microhabitat is burrows beneath the sandy bottom of the rock pool. By burrowing beneath the sand, the worms are protected from direct sunlight, predators and dramatic temperature changes. The worms are soft-bodied and would be particularly vulnerable to predators and the sunlight. 6. Biotic: frill-necked lizard, spinifex grass, rabbits, termites, emu, marsupial mice, insects, flowering desert pea 94242112.doc 1

7a 7b

8. 9a 9b 9c 10. 11a 11b 12a 12b


14. 15. 16a 16b

Abiotic: water droplets, soil, heat, stones, termite mounds, oxygen, wind, An epiphytic orchid lives on tree trunks taking nutrients from the air, and the rain. A bilby lives in the hot dry grasslands of Western Queensland. The grey mangrove lives in mangroves that are estuarine areas at river mouths. Living on the side of a rainforest tree enables the orchid to obtain sunlight, capture rain and trap leaf-litter to provide nutrients. They are also protected from grounddwelling predators. Bilbies make burrows in the sandy desert to protect themselves from the heat and direct sunlight of the desert. The area they inhabit have mostly low-growing grasses and shrubs that provide limited cover. The grey mangrove must be able to withstand wide variations in the tide so that the roots may at times be fully covered by water and at times fully exposed. The high salinity of the water is an issue that the tree must overcome. In storm seasons, the mangrove may also be subjected to battering from waves and wind. The main reason that plants cannot grow in deep water is the lack of light. pH, temperature, light, dissolved oxygen The main factor that would be an issue for the fish is the oxygen. Without access to sufficient oxygen the fish would die unless it was able to move to another area. A limiting factor is the one factor that has the greatest impact on how many organisms can live in a particular area, or if they can live there at all. The amount of dissolved oxygen in the water will influence how many fish can live there. The main problem for aquatic plants is excess water. Free-floating plants have air-filled spaces to enable them to float and a thick cuticle to prevent them from absorbing too much water. Submerged plants have roots to keep them in place and air-filled spaces to enable their leaves to reach the surface or at least access enough light. The leaves are flat and have a thick cuticle. In summer, surface water absorbs heat from the sun. Because warm water is less dense than cold water, it floats on the cool layer, creating different environments at different depths. Fish are most likely to be found in the warm upper layer. Plants will have their leaves near the surface of the lake and the oxygen content will be higher. Also, as fish take their body temperature from the surrounding water, they would be more active in the warmer water. Europeans have cleared the land and replace deep-rooted plants with shallowrooted crops. These plants use less water and allow more water to seep below the surface causing the water table to rise. As it rises, it dissolves naturally occurring salts, increasing the salinity of the soil. The salt is produced by the weathering of rocks. Halophytes are plants that are naturally salt-tolerant. They are able to absorb and retain salts in their tissues thereby removing it from the soil. Xerophytes are plants that grow in dry, hot environments and are able to conserve water. A thick cuticle reduces water loss. Hairs on leaves provide insulation and reflect the heat. A reduced number of stomata mean that less water is lost during transpiration. A reduced leaf surface area means that less is exposed to the sun and less water is lost. Leaf-curling provides a reduced surface area and also traps moisture within the tube formed. Leaf shedding reduces the number of leaves and therefore the amount of water lost through transpiration. 2


17a 17b 18. 19a 19b

Ephemerals have a very short life span that is completed during the short periods of time when water is present. They may survive for only a few weeks. Most of the time they exist as dormant, drought-resistant seeds under the ground. This enables them to survive arid conditions as they do all of their growing a reproducing at a time when the conditions are good. Then, when the conditions are bad, they exist as seeds. Because succulents store water in their fleshy leaves they need regular and reliable rainfall and are therefore not able to survive in arid Australia. Cladodes and phyllodes are similar as they are both forms of flattened stems that the plants use instead of true leaves. Both enable to plant to conserve water. By reducing the surface exposed to the sun and air, the amount of water lost is decreased.

Keystone Species 1. The cassowary is a keystone species because without it the rainforest of northern Queensland would not survive. It helps germinate and disperse the seeds of the Javan ash tree and disperses up to 80 other plant species, many whose seeds are toxic to other animals. 2a The cassowary is at risk due to habitat fragmentation, road incidents, predation by dogs and nest predation by wild pigs. 2b All of the factors listed above are due to human activity. 2c Ways in which some of the factors may be reduced could include: restricting landclearing around the rainforests, trapping and removing the wild pigs, restrictions of dog ownership in the area, trapping and removing any wild dogs, provision of wildlife corridors and raising awareness in the area to reduce the number killed by road traffic. Adaptations in Mangroves 1. Mangroves must survive in areas with high salinity levels, lack of oxygen, unstable substrate and an aquatic environment for seed dispersal. 2. High Salinity: Some mangroves are able to exclude salt from their roots, some mangroves are able to excrete salt from their leaves and some mangroves deposit salt in old leaves and then drop the leaves to the ground. Lack of Oxygen: Mangroves have aerial roots that allow the exchange of gases to occur. Pneumatophores, peg roots and stilt roots are all ways to expose roots to the air. Unstable Substrate: Instead of a single tap-root, mangroves have a network of branching roots (cable roots and anchor roots) that also assist with absorbing nutrients and binding the soil. 3. Mangrove seeds are viviparous. This means that the seeds germinate and the little plant starts to develop while still attached to the parent plant. When it drops, it is able to float and then, if it reaches a suitable spot, the already developing roots can quickly take hold. Too Much of a Good Thing 1. The water quality of the bay deteriorated as the nutrients accumulated. 2. duck farm ---------manure fertilised the bay -----------increased nutrients ----------green flagellates increased -----------------normal community of phytoplankton replaced----------------oysters starved 94242112.doc 3

Halophyte Adaptations 1. Transpiration brings salt to the shoot from the roots. Excess salt will cause water to move out of the cells which will cause loss of turgor, stomatal closure and reduction in transpiration which then leads to less carbon dioxide intake and decreased photosynthesis. 2. These demands are in conflict with each other because the plant must transpire to bring carbon dioxide into the plant for photosynthesis. But the transpiration is what brings in the excess salt which causes a reduction in transpiration, so the process is in conflict. Further Questions 1. C An increase in the water temperature meant that less oxygen was available to the fish. Oxygen is more soluble in cold water. 2. C These two birds have a similar diet, both live in the open forest and require a similar shelter. 3. A Plants living in both areas need a good root system to absorb nutrients and dissolved gases. 4. C There will be limited evaporation of moisture from the chamber. However, there will be a decrease in temperature, an increase in humidity and a reduction in water loss by evaporation. 5a Alberts Lyrebird and the Scaly Thrush 5b On examination of their beaks, it is clear that the diets of the two birds differ enabling them to share the second tree layer of the forest. It is also likely that they have different nesting needs as the birds are also quite different is size. 5c The scaly thrush and the whit-throated treecreeper are not in competition as they inhabit different sections of the forest. The scaly thrush is a ground dwelling bird and the treecreeper inhabits trunks and branches. 6a The cockatoo likely lost its food source whereas the galah was able to adapt to the new diet freely available. Perhaps the cockatoo preferred fruits to grain but the galah preferred seeds and grain and found the crops a convenient source of food. 6b To test my idea I would need to research the diets of the given birds to see if this case was likely. From experience I know that galahs do eat grains (large numbers observed in paddocks on the Darling Downs.) 7. Plants in the rainforest have a number of strategies to obtain sufficient light. Many plants have large, flat leaves to absorb as much light as possible. They are often dark in colour to assist in light absorption. Vines use the trunks of other trees to climb to the forest canopy and some plants such as mistletoe are parasitic and germinate in the forest canopy. Most rainforest trees are tall. 8a Oxygen availability will vary during the day as the tides change. At low tide, more of the plants roots will be exposed and more oxygen available to the plant. At high tide, the roots will be mostly covered and little oxygen available. 8b During the day there will also be changes in water availability. Obviously, at high tide more water is available and at low tide less is available. 8c Depending on the season, the temperature may vary with the tide. In summer, the water will be cooler than the air so that the plant will be cooler at high tide and warmer at low tide. In winter, the water may be warmer than the air and the reverse will be the case. *Questions 9 14 require you to do some thinking for yourself and/or do some research. Choose a number of these to complete. Hints for some are listed below. 94242112.doc 4

9. 10.

11. 12. 13. 14.

Concept maps help you to visualise the relationships and so you really should give this one a go. Because individuals see things differently, it is best that you complete your own to show your own understanding. An interesting area to briefly research might be Whites Hill. There is at least one plant species that is highly endangered, but is found on the hill. Otherwise, wait until the field work is decided because it will be an area in our local environment. Possibilities include Norman Creek, Bulimba Creek, Lota, Manly..... Straight forward short research activity. Both are interesting species to look at. Because of the decline in koala populations in the local area, you may like to know more about what is happening with it. An interesting question. Choose at least one and complete this question as it will reinforce your understanding of biotic and abiotic factors.