8.15 MC Answers and Review

6 min readdecember 21, 2021

AP Environmental Science ♻️

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Answers and Review for Multiple Choice Practice on Aquatic and Terrestrial Pollutants


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All human waste must be stored or recycled, most of it ends up in landfills.

⛔STOP!⛔ Before you look at the answers make sure you gave this practice quiz a try so you can assess your understanding of the concepts covered in unit 8. Click here for the practice questions: AP Environmental Science Unit 8 Multiple Choice Questions.
Facts about the test: The AP Environmental Science exam has 80 multiple choice questions and you will be given 1 hour 30 minutes to complete the section. That means it should take you around 17 minutes to complete 15 questions.

*The following questions were not written by CollegeBoard and although they cover information outlined in the AP Environmental Science Course and Exam Description the formatting on the exam may be different.

1. Which of the following is an example of point source pollution?
A. The bioaccumulation of DDT in eagles.
B. The Exxon-Valdez oil spill
C. CFCs cause the ozone layer to be depleted.
D. The dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico is caused by excess nitrogen from farms.
Answer: The Exxon-Valdez oil spill is the only example that has one definite source of pollution.
📄 Study AP Environmental Science, Unit 8.1: Sources of Pollution

2. Chemicals that interfere with the hormonal systems of organisms are known as
A. Auditory disruptors
B. Inflammation inhibitors
C. Lymphatic inhibitors
D. Endocrine disruptors
Answer: The endocrine system is the hormonal system in animals.
📄 Study AP Environmental Science, Unit 8.3 Endocrine Disruptors

3. Which of the following is not an example of ecosystem services provided by mangroves?
A. Water filtration
B. Fish rookery
C. Flood protection from hurricanes
D. Large quantities of harvestable timber
Answer: Mangroves would not be a good tree to harvest for timber because they are small and twisted.
📄 Study AP Environmental Science, Unit 8.4: Human Impacts on Wetlands and Mangroves

4. The hypoxic conditions in eutrophied waterways are caused by
A. Bacteria metabolizes decaying algae and produces carbon dioxide.
B. Algae grows very quickly and blocks the sunlight from the other aquatic plants. C. Excess nitrogen and phosphorus entering waterways.
D. Sedimentation from increased runoff of farmed land.
Answer: Hypoxic means that the oxygen is reduced. When the waterways are filled with decaying algae the water quickly losses available oxygen.
📄 Study AP Environmental Science, Unit 8.5: Eutrophication

5. Thermal Pollution is most commonly caused by
A. CFCs reduce the ozone layer and allow more UVB to reach the troposphere.
B. Power Plants discharging water used as a coolant
C. Wastewater treatment centers discharging purified water
D. Climate change heating the entire ocean
Answer: Power Plants or factories often used ocean or lake water to cool their mechanical systems. This water often does not come into contact with any chemicals and it is put right back into the original waterway, just much warmer.
📄 Study AP Environmental Science, Cram Review: Unit 8

6. Identify which of the following is not a trait of POPs
A. Able to travel long distances.
B. Able to bioaccumulate
C. Able to enter the fatty tissues of organisms and accumulate over time.
D. Able to easily bind with hydrogen and break down into a new chemical.
Answer: POPs do not easily break down and are often in the environment for a long time. They can enter the bodies of organisms and accumulate as they travel up the food chain.
📄 Study AP Environmental Science, Unit 8.8: Bioaccumulation and Biomagnification

7. Mercury would be most concentrated in which of the following organisms?
A. Tuna
B. Anchovy
C. Phytoplankton
D. Zooplankton
Answer: Tuna are typically large predators and would bioaccumulate larger amounts of mercury. Anchovy filter feed on phytoplankton and zooplankton and are low in the oceanic food chain.
📄 Study AP Environmental Science, Unit 8.8: Bioaccumulation and Biomagnification

8. Which of the following types of solid waste create a large pollution issue in the ocean due to their longevity and ability to float?
A. Paper products
B. Metal products
C. Glass products
D. Plastic products
Answer: Plastic floats and would not easily sink or be broken down as part of the natural environment.
📄 Study AP Environmental Science, Unit 8: Overview

9. When identifying tolerable limits for toxins, scientists often use
A. Population dynamic curves
B. Dose-response curves
C. Heirdyweinberg Equilibrium
D. Shays Index
Answer: Dose-response curves tell scientists how much of a toxin will have an effect on a population and how severe that effect will be.
📄 Study AP Environmental Science, Cram Review: Unit 8

10. Identify the disease that is spread by mosquito bites introducing a parasite.
B. Cholera
C. Malaria
D. Zeka
Answer: although a lot of diseases are spread by mosquitoes, malaria is unique in this group because it is a parasite and not a virus.
📄 Study AP Environmental Science, Cram Review: Unit 8

11. Identify the disease that could be mitigated by providing access to clean drinking water and proper sewage disposal.
B. Cholera
C. Malaria
D. Zeka
Answer: Cholera is a bacterial infection that is passed by contamination of drinking water and food from sick individuals, usually from poor sewage treatment.
📄 Study AP Environmental Science, Cram Review: Unit 8

12. Identify the following diseases that will likely increase if there are warmer climates
A. Cholera and Tuberculosis
B. Malaria and Zika
C. Malaria and Cholera
D. Zika and Tuberculosis
Answer: Warmer temperatures will allow mosquitos to live in more habitats. Mosquitos carry many human pathogens including Malaria and Zika.
📄 Study AP Environmental Science, Cram Review: Unit 8

13. Consuming which animal would pose a greater risk of mercury contamination?
A. Humpback Whales
B. Shrimp
C. Bluefin Tuna
D. Anchovy
Answer: Although whales are large animals they consume prey that is low on the food chain, typically eating plankton and being only a secondary consumer. Bluefin tuna are top predators and consume many types of smaller fish. The higher up an organism is on the food chain, and the longer it lives, the more time it would have to bioaccumulate a toxin like mercury.
📄 Study AP Environmental Science, Unit 8.8: Bioaccumulation and Biomagnification

14. What type of facility is most likely to create thermal pollution of waterways?
A. Wastewater Treatment Facility
B. Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation
C. Hydraulic Fracturing Mine
D. Nuclear Power Plant
Answer: A nuclear power plant would use the water from a river or lake to keep the reactors cool and push the hot water back into the natural ecosystem.
📄 Study AP Environmental Science, Cram Review: Unit 8

15. Depleting freshwater sources is considered a type of pollution because it can
A. Increase the salt concentration in natural saltwater or brackish systems.
B. Reduce habitats for saltwater fish.
C. Introduce excessive sand, resulting in sedimentation.
D. Inhibit organisms from following natural migration routes.
Answer: By removing the freshwater that naturally enters a brackish system like an estuary, the salt content can become too high for the plants and animals to tolerate it.
📄 Study AP Environmental Science, Cram Review: Unit 8

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🌏Unit 4 – Earth Systems & Resources
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⚡️Unit 6 – Energy Resources & Consumption
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♻️Unit 8 – Aquatic & Terrestrial Pollution
🔥Unit 9 – Global Change
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