Regents Living Environment Test Preparation Practice

    Effect Of Biodiversity


    Base your answers to questions 7 on the information below and on your knowledge of biology.

    Yes, This Big Lizard is Pink

    A new study from the University of Rome Tor Vergata shows that a rare strawberry-tinted land iguana [rosada iguana] in the Galapagos Islands is genetically distinct from other iguanas there, having diverged from them more than five million years ago as the archipelago [a group of islands] formed. The rosada iguana—which escaped Darwin’s notice—was discovered only recently, largely because it lives on the desolate slopes of an active volcano.

    Source: Smithsonian, March 2009


    Base your answer to question 13-16 on the information below and on your knowledge of biology.

    The year 2010 was declared the International Year of Biodiversity. However, significant loss of biodiversity is still occurring. Researchers around the world are working on a variety of ways to protect natural resources. According to an article in Science News, March 13, 2010, “reversing the downward spiral of biodiversity will take more than protecting wild places, but that’s where scientists are starting.”


    Base your answers to questions 17 on the information below and on your knowledge of biology.

    Nature Will Have to Clean Up Hawaii Molasses Leak That Killed Thousands of Fish

    A massive spill of thick molasses has turned Honolulu Harbor into a watery wasteland where thousands of fish have been suffocated – a disaster that officials say Mother Nature will have to clean up.

    “There’s nothing alive there at all,” diver Roger White told NBC affiliate KHNL after making a seven-minute video of dead sea life blanketing the bottom of the harbor.…

    …“Unlike with an oil spill, it’s a sugar product so it will dissipate on its own,” Matson spokesman Jeff Hull told NBC News on Thursday. “There’s not an active cleanup.”

    “The molasses is not toxic but it’s heavier than water so it’s spreading around on the sea floor, displacing the oxygen-rich water down there, and the fish are suffocating,” said Keith Korsmeyer, a professor of biology at Hawaii Pacific University.

    The die-off also could lure predators like sharks, barracuda and eels to the harbor and neighboring Keehi Lagoon, experts warned.…

    …Korsmeyer said marine life would probably repopulate the harbor, after the low- oxygen water moves out, but that could take months or even years.…




    Base your answers to questions 18 on the information below and on your knowledge of biology.

    Invasion of the Giant Rodents

    Large, 20-pound rodents [nutria] that were originally from South America are spreading northward from the southern United States.

    The nutria were brought in and raised in the southern United States for their fur. Nutria escaped and started a wild population.

    They have since moved up the east coast, damaging plant life in Delaware and Maryland. Currently, they have reached New Jersey. These rodents are damaging New Jersey’s marshland ecosystems.

    A nutria can eat up to 5 pounds of marshland plants a day. This loss of plant life is harming the marshland ecosystems.