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Plant and Animal Facts to Remember for the AP Biology Exam

Part of the AP Biology For Dummies Cheat Sheet

The following list contains some of the more challenging info on plants and animals that you might encounter on the AP Biology Exam. Study this list as long as you need to — if you remember this information during the test, you'll do just fine.

  • Vascular plants have roots, shoots and stems, each of which arises from dermal, vascular, and ground tissues. Apical meristems elongate root and stem tips. Lateral meristems thicken existing roots and stems.

  • Xylem conducts water and dissolved nutrients from roots upward. Phloem conducts dissolved sugars from sugar sources to sugar sinks.

  • Phototropism is growth toward light. Gravitropism is upward growth. Thigmotropism is growth in response to contact. Photoperiodism is growth is response to periodic changes in light.

  • Gymnosperm plants are either male or female. Angiosperm plants produce flowers that contain both male and female reproductive parts.

  • Oxygen and carbon dioxide exchange between circulatory systems and respiratory systems. These dissolved gases diffuse down concentration gradients between cells and capillaries, and between capillaries and alveoli.

  • Nerves conduct electrical signals to allow for rapid communication between specific sites. Hormones move through body fluids to allow for slower, more distributed communication.

  • Skeletal muscles contract to create movement about skeletal joints. Cardiac muscle contracts to force blood through vessels. Smooth muscle contracts slowly and for longer periods. Skeletal and cardiac muscles are striated because they contain sarcomeres.

  • Mechanical digestion occurs by chewing and by churning of the stomach. Chemical digestion occurs via enzymes, stomach acid, and bile, especially in the duodenum. The small intestine absorbs many digested nutrients though vili. The large intestine absorbs water.

  • Nonspecific immunity initially fights off infection and buys time for the onset of specific immunity. Specific immunity includes humoral and cell-mediated immunity. Humoral immunity involves the production of antibodies and is organized by
    B-lymphocytes. Cell-mediated immunity is carried out by T-lymphocytes.

  • Zygotes develop into blastulas, which develop into gastrulas. Gastrulas give rise to endoderm, mesoderm, and ectoderm layers. Further development is spurred by induction.

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