About This Chapter
MCAS STE Biology - Chapter Summary
The lessons in this chapter will help you prepare for the MCAS STE Biology exam by reviewing many different topics related to ecology. After this chapter, you will have explored:
- Effects on populations: birth, death, immigration & emigration
- Natural and man-made effects on an ecosystem
- Food webs, chains and trophic levels
- Competition between different species
- Interaction between predator and prey
- Symbiotic relationships
- Carrying capacity of an ecosystem
- Invasive species impact on ecological balance
- Biogeochemical cycling
- Nitrogen and carbon cycles
Each lesson has been developed by professional educators to provide you with various methods for learning. You will watch a short video lesson that illustrates the information being covered, and you'll also find a transcript of the video to refer to for text-based learning and note-taking. At the end of each lesson there's a self-assessment quiz for you to test your application of the material.
MCAS STE Biology - Objectives
The MCAS STE Biology exam is a standardized test administered to high school students in Massachusetts. The exam assesses students' ability to meet educational learning standards in biology defined by the Massachusetts Curriculum Framework. The questions on the exam cover five main content areas related to biology. The information in this section will cover questions related to ecology, which account for 20% of the final score.
The MCAS STE Biology exam is one of four Science and Technology/Engineering tests administered to high school students. The exam is comprised of 40 multiple-choice questions and 5 open-ended responses. The open-ended responses could be related to any of the five content areas, so it's important to study all of the topics covered in this course. You will need a score of 220 or higher on one of the four STE exams to qualify for graduation.
1. How Birth, Immigration, Emigration & Death Affect Populations
Populations change based on the births, deaths, immigrations, and emigrations that occur within the group. These additions and subtractions all affect population size, but do so in different ways.
2. Natural & Human Disturbances that Affect an Ecosystem
Ecosystems are often forced to change in response to natural and human disturbances. In this lesson, we'll explore how these changes can be negative and positive.
3. What is a Food Web? - Definition & Explanation
This lesson will provide a definition of a food web, as well as describe its parts and discuss examples of different types. It will also explain the transfer of energy through a food web.
4. Food Chains, Trophic Levels and Energy Flow in an Ecosystem
In this lesson, you'll learn about food chains, food webs, and the different roles that organisms play in an ecosystem. You'll also learn about how energy flows through an ecosystem.
5. Interspecific Competition, Competitive Exclusion & Niche Differentiation
What happens when two similar species that consume the same resources occupy the same space? Interspecific competition, that's what! Watch our video lesson to learn about the outcomes of this ecological battle.
6. Predator/Prey Interactions, Camouflage, Mimicry & Warning Coloration
You probably know that skunks can be quite stinky, bees sting and monarch butterflies are pretty, but do you know why? This lesson will introduce you to the reasons why some animals look or act the way they do and how these things relate to the predator/prey relationship.
7. Symbiotic Relationships: Mutualism, Commensalism & Parasitism
If your cat or dog has ever had fleas, you've witnessed symbiosis in action. In this lesson, learn the many types of symbiosis in biology, and how these relationships can have a positive, negative, or neutral effect on the individual species.
8. Carrying Capacity, Migration & Dispersion
Have you ever wondered why some types of birds fly south in the winter or why some animals form territories? Watch this video to learn about a species' maximum growth capabilities, the way its members group themselves and why they might migrate to new locations every year.
9. How Introduced and Invasive Species Alter Ecological Balance
What happens to your block when a new neighbor moves in? Something changes, right? Now think about that on an ecological scale: what happens to an environment when a new SPECIES moves in?
10. Biogeochemical Cycling and the Phosphorus Cycle
In this video lesson, we'll take a look at how elements large and small use other elements to grow. This is achieved through cycles. We'll look at macronutrients, trace elements and the biogeochemical and phosphorous cycles.
11. The Nitrogen Cycle, Acid Rain and Fossil Fuels
Do you know the difference between nitrite and nitrate? Do you have any clue how all the nitrogen in the atmosphere becomes usable? If you can't answer these questions, then you need to watch this lesson on the nitrogen cycle.
12. The Carbon Cycle and Long-Term Carbon Storage
All living organisms have a role in the carbon cycle. Do you know you understand how humans, animals and plants use carbon? This lesson will introduce you to the carbon cycle and explain how it functions on a global scale.
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Other chapters within the MCAS - Science & Technology-Engineering - Biology: Test Prep & Practice course
- MCAS STE Biology: Chemistry of Life
- MCAS STE Biology: Enzymatic Biochemistry
- MCAS STE Biology: Organelles
- MCAS STE Biology: Cellular Structure & Transport
- MCAS STE Biology: Classification & Evolution
- MCAS STE Biology: Cellular Respiration & Photosynthesis
- MCAS STE Biology: Cell Growth & Reproduction
- MCAS STE Biology: DNA Replication
- MCAS STE Biology: Transcription & Translation
- MCAS STE Biology: Genetics & Heredity
- MCAS STE Biology: Digestive & Circulatory Systems
- MCAS STE Biology: Nervous & Endocrine Systems
- MCAS STE Biology: Respiratory & Musculoskeletal Systems
- MCAS STE Biology: The Reproductive System
- MCAS STE Biology: Evolution & Biodiversity
- MCAS STE Biology: Scientific Method & Inquiry
- MCAS STE Biology: The Science Lab
- MCAS STE Biology: Using Mathematics in Science
- MCAS - Science & Technology-Engineering - Biology Flashcards