CURRENT UNIT: Biology Study Guide for Ecology Topics

Sample study guide for first part of Ecology Unit (guide from 2014)

For today's (Friday 5/15/15) summary questions, click here

The following can be used as an outline for study purposes.  It should not replace review of notes, paying attention in class or reading from the book. Test is scheduled for Monday.  ALL students are expected to take the test Monday as no new material has been introduced and test was announced well in advance.

  • Know the definition of ecosystem and the components that must be in it
  • Know the meanings and be able to define the following concepts:






Ecological pyramid

Energy flow

Food chain

Food web



Primary consumer (C1)

Producer (P)

Secondary consumer (C2)

Tertiary consumer (C3)

Trophic level


  • Know the literal root word meanings found in key terms above.
  • Be able to construct a correct food chain and identify the trophic levels.
  • Be able to identify organisms and relationships when given a diagram.

These questions could be used to study.  You should not limit yourself to these questions, but they are a good start.  The test is mostly multiple choice, but it is designed to elicit understanding – not guesses!  There are several complex questions in which the BEST answer must be chosen.

  1. What is an ecosystem?  What three things need to be in a definition of it?
  2. What is the relationship between diversity and stability in an ecosystem?
  3. What are 5 different examples of interactions?
  4. Is everything in an ecosystem connected, or are just some things?
  5. What is the difference between abiotic and biotic factors?
  6. Is the sun alive?
  7. What is the difference between a food web and a food chain?
  8. What is a producer? What are synonyms for this word?
  9. What is a consumer?  What are other names for producers?
  10. Where do producers get their energy?  Where do consumers get their energy?
  11. What is the difference between a C1 and a C2 and a C3?  Give examples.
  12. When drawing a food chain, does it matter which way the arrows are drawn?  (Is grass à cow à human correct?  Is grass ß cow ß human correct?)
  13. What do the arrows in a food chain show?
  14. What is a trophic level and how much energy is lost between trophic levels, at minimum?
  15. What are energy pyramids and what do they represent?
  16. What is a decomposer?  How is that different and similar to a scavenger?


Summary Questions from 5/15/15  -  Greenhouse Water Activity

  1. What happens to the energy that doesn't make it into plants?
  2. Why doesn't all the energy from one trophic level make it to the next trophic level?
  3. Who is a more efficient user of the energy from the sun, a C1 or a C2?
  4. Why can aquatic food chains be longer than terrestrial chains?
  5. Why can't there be more wolves than deer - use today's learning in your answer.