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Dead, rotting logs on the forest floor provide the habitat for a small

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Joined: 18 Sep 2014
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Dead, rotting logs on the forest floor provide the habitat for a small  [#permalink]

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04 Oct 2015, 12:39
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Difficulty:

25% (medium)

Question Stats:

78% (02:08) correct 22% (02:27) wrong based on 270 sessions

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Dead, rotting logs on the forest floor provide the habitat for a small mammal, the red-backed vole, which subsists almost entirely on the portion of certain specialized fungi that grows above ground. The fungi-spores are deposited on the forest floor by the voles. Some of the fungi that develop from these spores form underground sheaths around the fine roots of the growing trees and assist the trees by processing and sharing nutrients and producing an antibiotic that protects the trees from disease.

The information above provides the most support for which one of the following conclusions?

(A) The presence of rotting logs on a forest floor can have beneficial effects on the trees around them.
(B) The red-backed vole is usually able to derive nutrients from the spores of the fungi it eats.
(C) Young, growing trees could not survive without the voles to distribute the spores of certain fungi.
(D) The spores of certain fungi cannot remain viable above the ground but must be deposited near the roots of trees.
(E) Dead and decaying trees are the ideal environment for the growth of certain fungi.
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Joined: 10 Oct 2014
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Dead, rotting logs on the forest floor provide the habitat for a small  [#permalink]

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04 Oct 2015, 14:50
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The key is to read the question first before moving onto the prompt. At first glance, this looks like a strengthen question, but note the word "conclusion." The answers to strengthen questions are usually assumptions (or information from outside the text), but since we are looking at a set of conclusions, it must be an inference question. Also note that by nature, inference questions must be answered with something that is always true (and if the answer is a restatement of something that is in the prompt, then it has a high likelihood of being correct).

After moving onto the passage, it seems as if the vole is not really important to the question here, and it's more about the fungi and the trees, so let's start there. I'd eliminate B right off the bat.

Answer a looks good, because the passage says that the fungi provide antibiotics for the trees as well as share nutrients for them to grow. Looks good - keep on the shelf.

Answer C is not always true, because we know trees grow in places where voles don't live. Rotting leaves and branches are not next to every tree in the world. Also the strong language in "could not" should also raise a flag here. Eliminate

Answer D is proved wrong by the statement "The fungi-spores are deposited on the forest floor by the voles." If they don't flourish above ground, how do they get under ground? Eliminate

Answer E is a little bit tricky. The way I analyzed this answer is that the dead and rotting trees are not the ideal environment for the growth of certain fungi, rather, they are the ideal environment for the voles who spread the spores. Eliminate

By simple process of elimination, A is the correct answer.
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Re: Dead, rotting logs on the forest floor provide the habitat for a small  [#permalink]

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22 Nov 2015, 10:55
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Mechmeera wrote:
Dead, rotting logs on the forest floor provide the habitat for a small mammal, the red-backed vole, which subsists almost entirely on the portion of certain specialized fungi that grows above ground. The fungi-spores are deposited on the forest floor by the voles. Some of the fungi that develop from these spores form underground sheaths around the fine roots of the growing trees and assist the trees by processing and sharing nutrients and producing an antibiotic that protects the trees from disease.

The information above provides the most support for which one of the following conclusions?

Well, I hate inference type of questions...
what can be true based on the information given in the argument? Rotting logs - provide habitat for RBV. RBV helps to spread the spores of the fungi. These spores are helping trees.

(A) The presence of rotting logs on a forest floor can have beneficial effects on the trees around them.
looks good.

(B) The red-backed vole is usually able to derive nutrients from the spores of the fungi it eats.
well, the nutrients of the spores are not discussed in the argument. so B is out.

(C) Young, growing trees could not survive without the voles to distribute the spores of certain fungi.
without the voles to distribute - it implies that the role of voles is to distribute the spores. but it might be the case that the voles do not do this voluntarily Moreover, could not survive - sounds extreme, and extremities should not be considered as a correct answer choice unless the argument clearly states so.

(D) The spores of certain fungi cannot remain viable above the ground but must be deposited near the roots of trees.
Again, must be deposited - this is too extreme for the conclusion. Moreover, it can be true that the spores can remain viable above the ground without being deposited near the roots of the trees. D is out.

(E) Dead and decaying trees are the ideal environment for the growth of certain fungi.
ideal - again way too far. It might not be actually true. so E is out.
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Re: Dead, rotting logs on the forest floor provide the habitat for a small  [#permalink]

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04 Sep 2018, 23:32
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Re: Dead, rotting logs on the forest floor provide the habitat for a small   [#permalink] 04 Sep 2018, 23:32
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