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These are just a few examples of the type of short answer questions I might ask. I strongly recommend you answer relevant questions from the back of each chapter as a means of testing your background in each topic.

Describe the steps through which natural selection proceeds.

 

Distinguish and describe Batesian and Müllerian mimicry.


Provide the logistic (sigmoidal) population growth equation. The two points denoted on the graph represent areas where different processes are involved in the growth of the population. Briefly describe why the graph takes this appearance at each point. Is population growth at each point more a function of r or K?

 

You are studying a population of butterflies in the Central American lowlands. During your collections you notice that there is a difference in the spatial distribution of the color types of one species; specifically, only the blue form is present in the northern range of your study area, the yellow form of the species is limited to forested areas of the southern range, and the beige form is found only in grassy meadows in the southern range? What might have lead to this situation (pick one hypothesis and defend it) and what might be the potential outcome if this continues?

 

Two islands are located the same distance from the same main land shoreline but the islands are of different sizes. Explain and graph what happens to the rate of immigration (colonization) and extinction on these islands. Which will have the greater equilibrium number of species?

 

Through an examination of specimens collected for a particular species of insects dating back 200 years, you note that the color pattern has switched from a dominant blue form with a few brown and red forms to the present where the brown and red forms are dominant and the blue form is almost absent from collections. What type of natural selection might lead to this type of pattern in the phenotypes of a population and why would this type of selection create such a pattern.

 

Compare and contrast the nature of avoidance mechanisms in plants and animals.

 

For equilibrium theories of population regulation, is it necessary for K to be constant. In reality, however, K does change.  Discuss the effect of changes in K for understanding regulation.