Marine Ecology Practice Exam Questions (answers at end)

Here are some practice questions for the final.  I’m especially giving you an idea of some integrated questions since that is not something you have had so far.

Part 1. Definitions
Please define the following terms and explain why each term has significance in marine ecology (3 points each)

1. ciguatera

2.  homeoviscous adaptation

Part 2. Short Answer.
Please fill in the blanks or circle the correct answer.  BE SURE TO ANSWER ALL PARTS OF EACH QUESTION (1.5 points for each correct answer)

1.  When corals get too warm / cold they sometimes expel their zooxanthellae.  This loss of the endosymbiont is known as:
                                       .

2. Some examples of marine regions that rely heavily on allochthonous production are:
    a.
    b.

Part 3. Multiple Choice.
Please circle the letter corresponding to the correct answer (1.5 points each)

1. Extreme changes in temperature are not a physical characteristic in which environment?
    a. deep sea vents
    b. tidal pools
    c.subtidal benthos
    d. salt marshes

2. Which of the following animals is not carnivorous?
    a. baleen whale
    b. shark
    c. manatee
    d. coral
    e. squid

Part 4. Matching. NOTE: THERE WILL BE EQUAL NUMBERS IN COLUMNS A AND B; I WON’T CHOOSE OBSCURE THINGS!
Please select the term or phrase from column B that best matches the term or phrase listed in column A and place the letter of the column B answer in the space provided to the left of column A (1 point each)

           Column A                                                                     Column B
1.        main food of Antarctic whales                                         a. Porifera
2.        most common fish in the ocean                                        b. euphausids
3.        benthic organisms that mostly filter feed                           c. pteropods
4.        pelagic mollusks                                                             d.  Pisaster
5.        a keystone predator                                                        e.Cyclothone

Part 5. Short essays
Please provide concise but complete answers for the following questions:

1. You collect a green colored flatworm from the tropical nearshore environment.  To your surprise, while running some physiological measurements on the animal you find that it produces more oxygen than it consumes.  How is this possible?  How could you test your hypothesis?
 

2. What are the cues for movement of zooplankton up and down in the water column (diel vertical migration) and in the soft intertidal sediments?  In what ways are they similar and in what ways are they different?

Answers

Part 1. Definitions:

1. Ciguatera is a serious disease caused by eating tropical fishes with toxins in the body.  Some possible significances:  The fish are thought to accumulate the toxins from toxic algae, and it may accumulate through the food web.  Some marine mammals can be affected by eating these fish, also.

2. Homeoviscous adaption is the ability of deep sea bacteria to construct their membranes out of more fluid lipids so that they still function at high pressures.  Some possible significances: Homeoviscous adaptations permit these bacteria to thrive under the high pressure environment of the deep sea.

Part 2. Short Answer.

1.  When corals get too warm they sometimes expel their zooxanthellae.  This loss of the endosymbiont is known as:
         coral bleaching.

2. Some examples of marine regions that rely heavily on allochthonous production are:
    possible answers:
    a. the deep sea (not in vent regions)
    b. European type estuaries

Part 3. Multiple Choice
1-C
2-C

Part 4. Matching
1-b
2-e
3-a
4-c
5-d

Part 5. Short Essays
1. The green flatworm probably contains either symbiotic algae or chloroplasts.  These symbionts are photosynthesizing and producing more oxygen than the animal is using for respiration.  One possible means of testing this hypothesis would be to keep the flatworm in the dark (making photosynthesis impossible) and seeing if the oxygen usage increased.  You might also try to isolate the symbiotic alga.

2. There are many possible answers to this question.  One acceptable answer would be:
There are many cues for diel vertical migration.  The proximate cue is changes in light, but such things as hiding from visual predators, escaping from UV light, and energetic advantages of living in cooler water have been suggested as ultimate causes.  In the soft intertidal some organisms move to avoid changes in temperature and salinity, and to keep from drying up.  These are mostly physical (abiotic) pressures, and would be more similar to the UV avoidance hypothesis.

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