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 Life in the Oceans 

BIOL 181 Study Guide Questions (ver 2020) (for BIOL 181: Life in the Oceans – Lecture Notes)

Use these Study Guide questions (and not your e-textbook’s Review questions found at the end of each chapter) for your weekly discussions. They represent the most important concepts in our course. These questions also serve as the Study Guide for your final exam. For weeks when we do not use them in our Discussions, I recommend you answer the questions on your own. Consider downloading the file into your computer for easy access while you are drafting your submissions.

To determine your assigned Study Guide question(s), go to the Navigation Bar, select My Tools > Grades, scroll down to your name, then note your Study Guide question number in your “SG question #” column.

To find the Study Guide question you are assigned to answer, scroll down in this document to the appropriate class Week number.  Then use your SG question # to determine your assigned Study Guide question to answer for that week. If your SG question # is larger than the number of questions in that week, simply start at question #1 again. For example, if there are 28 Study Guide questions for your class week, then the student with SG question # 29 would answer Study Guide question #1, the student with SG question # 30 would answer Study Guide question 2, etc.

Many answers can be found in your Learning Resources.   Some will require you to search the Internet for scholarly sources of information to add to what you found in the Learning Resources.

Week 1

Chapter 1: Introduction to Marine Biology

1. What percentage of the earth is covered with oceans? When did interest in the marine environment significantly increase and what powered that interest? Who was the scientist on board the HMS Beagle in 1831 and what theories did this scientist develop?

2. In the early 19th century who proposed that no life could live in the deep ocean? What was the basis for this proposal?

3. Describe the HMS Challenger voyage. Who was the chief scientist on board the HMS Challenger in 1872-76? What theories did Alexander Agassiz develop?

4. Explain why we should study marine biology? Provide a minimum of four definitive and numbered reasons.

5. Explain the process of the scientific method (SM). Be sure to include your SM tutorial’s information found at Course Resources > The Science Learning Center.

6. List (by number) and explain at least four direct and indirect ways in which the oceans influence the lives of humans.

7. Differentiate between the following terms: Oceanography, Physical Oceanography, Chemical Oceanography, Geological Oceanography, Biological Oceanography, and Marine Biology.

Chapter 2: Fundamentals of Ecology

8. Compare and contrast ecology and ecosystems.  Compare and contrast habitat and niche.

9. Explain and provide two examples of abiotic factors affecting marine organisms.  Explain and provide two examples of biotic factors affecting marine organisms.

10. Describe at least three roles that sunlight plays in the marine environment.

11. How does temperature and salinity play a role in the marine environment?  What is a typical salinity value in the open ocean? In estuaries?

12. How does pressure and metabolic requirements play a role in the marine environment? 

13. Describe and differentiate between an ectotherm and an endotherm. Describe and differentiate between an osmoregulator, and an osmoconformer.

14. What is the difference between a population and a biological community? Compare and contrast these three population density dispersion patterns: clumped, uniform, and random. Use a drawing (your own or insert an image) to clearly define each pattern.

15. Describe and differentiate the difference in temperature range between small bodies of water (e.g. a small, shallow bay) and open ocean areas. What adaptations or temperature tolerance do you expect to see in the animals living in either body of water?

16. Define the term homeostasis? What does it mean if an organism is anaerobic? What is osmosis?

17. Compare and contrast interspecific and intraspecific competition. Define a keystone species and give an example of one.

18. Osmoconforming animals, such as the spider crab, that live in the open ocean show little ability to withstand large variations in salinity, while coastal animals, such as the closely related fiddler crab, show great ability to withstand large salinity changes. Explain why this is the case, considering the relevant abiotic features of both habitats.

19. Name and describe the three types of symbiotic relationships. Provide a marine example of each.

20. Explain the term population. What is the carrying capacity of a population? Explain the terms: neritic, plankton, benthic, and pelagic.

21. What is the difference between epifauna and infauna? What do detritivores feed on?

22. Differentiate between an autotroph and a heterotroph. What is the primary energy source for autotrophs? How do chemosynthetic organisms generate energy?

23. Compare and contrast a food web and a food chain. What is the average percent of energy passed from one trophic level to another in a food chain?  What is the rest used for? Explain the relative positions of primary producers, primary consumers, and top consumers in a food pyramid.

24. Explain eutrophication in detail. Explain two ways that oxygen is diminished due to eutrophication.

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