AP Biology summer reading

AP Biology
Summer Reading
Congratulations on making the commitment to take Advanced Placement Biology
during the coming school year. Although the course is very challenging, I believe that with
the proper attitude and disciplined work habits it can be a valuable experience for preparing
you for your future.
The College Board has set an incredibly high standard for what you are expected to
know at the completion of this course. In order to increase your chance for success on the AP
Biology exam, it is essential that you study material on your own that time constraints
prevent us from covering during the school year.
This week you need to go to the school library and check out the AP Biology text,
BIOLOGY-Concepts & Connections by Neil Campbell. You are to read and comprehend
Unit VII on Ecology. This unit consists of the following chapters:
Chapter 34
The Biosphere
Chapter 35
Population Dynamics
Chapter 36
Communities & Ecosystems
Chapter 37
Behavioral Adaptations
Chapter 38
Conservation Biology
During the second day of class, you will take a unit exam on the 100 pages covered in these
chapters. The exam will consist of 50 multiple-choice questions and a short answer section
consisting of key terms worth 25 points.
The reading and evaluation of this unit will give you a head start in this course. It will
give me an indication who is serious about working hard and being successful. A below
average performance on this exam may be used as criteria for placing you in regular Biology.
If you have any questions or concerns, please stop by and see me in room 211 or send me a
note at gring@fc.spusd.net
Mr. Ring
At the completion of this 5-chapter unit of Ecology, students should be able to do the following:
The Biosphere
1. Define Ecology. Discuss the approaches taken by biologists who focus at each of these levels:
organism, population, community, ecosystem, and biosphere.
2. Identify the abiotic and biotic factors that control ecological relationships, stressing the role
of natural selection in shaping the adaptations of each organism that allow it to function well
in its environment.
3. Explain how climate determines the distribution of biological communities.
4. Name the 2 types of aquatic ecosystems. Describe how these two ecosystems are similar and
how they are different.
5. Identify the 9 types of terrestrial biomes, indicating for each the defining abiotic
characteristics, the location of each on Earth, characteristic features of the organisms, and any
particular sensitivity to human disturbance.
Population Dynamics
1. Define Population in the sense used by population ecologists, and in contrast to the
traditional biological definition of population. Explain how density and dispersion describe
populations and how each of these variables is measured.
2. Distinguish between exponential and logistic models of population growth, explaining the
effects of existing population size and carrying capacity on growth rate.
3. Differentiate between density-dependent and density-independent factors that limit
population growth.
4. Describe the interrelationships among predator, prey, and prey food that cause mixed
populations to cycle.
5. Outline the history of the growth of the human population, including factors affecting that
Communities and Ecosystems
1. Distinguish between the terms in the following pairs: community and ecosystem, habitat and
niche, coevolution and symbiosis, and energy flow and chemical cycle.
2. Distinguish the forces that tie populations together into communities: competition, predation,
and symbiosis. Give an example of each, and explain why it is difficult to assess these forces
fully in natural communities.
3. Describe the process of succession by tracing the changes that occur in a community during
the process. Demonstrate how disturbance, on various levels, is a characteristic of many
4. Define the trophic levels that occur in most ecosystems, and discuss how energy flow through
trophic level structure results in an energy pyramid.
5. Outline the dominant pathways of the cyclic movement between organic matter and abiotic
reservoirs of water, carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus.
Behavioral Adaptations to the Environment
1. Differentiate between the interests of, and approaches taken by, behavioral biologists,
behavioral ecologists, and sociobiologists. Outline controversies surrounding sociobiology,
particularly nature versus nurture.
2. Describe the early experiments of von Frisch, Lorenz, and Tinbergen, indicating in which
contexts of behavioral biology each played a founding role.
3. Explain the relative roles of genes and environment on the following types of behavior:
pattern recognition, fixed action pattern, habituation, imprinting, association, imitation, and
4. Describe the evolutionary context of examples of the following types of individual behavior:
biologic rhythms, kinesis and orientation behaviors, migration and feeding behavior.
5. Describe the evolutionary context of examples of the following types of social behavior:
agonistic behavior, dominance hierarchy, territoriality, mating behavior, signaling and
Conservation Biology
1. Explain the roles that technology, population growth, and resource utilization play in the
following threats to global environments: acid precipitation, ozone depletion, chemical
toxicity, global warming, and loss of biodiversity.
2. Describe the science of conservation biology and its sub-discipline restoration ecology.
Discuss the tools of restoration ecology, including bioremediation and augmentation of
ecosystem processes.
3. State why biodiversity is important and why its loss is such a serious problem. Discuss the
roles of habitat destruction, introduction of exotic species, and overexploitation of resources
in bringing about loss of biodiversity.
4. Define and describe the following terms: biological magnification, biodiversity hot spots,
endemic species, and sustainable development.
5. Describe the impact of habitual fragmentation on a population. Distinguish between source
and sink habitats. Discuss both the benefit and harm that can be caused by movement