The passage provides the most support for inferring that which one of the following is true of ancient ponderosa fore...

Madelyn-Luskey on December 19, 2018


please explain why B is correct

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Jacob-R on December 20, 2018

I’m happy to help. As always, let’s start with the question stem. We are looking for an answer about ancient ponderosa forests that is supported by the passage.

What did the passage tell us about ancient ponderosa forests? Beginning on line 9, we learn that ancient ponderosa forests were “stable in part because low-intensity fires maintained open forests with low levels of fuel for future fires. These fires burned lightly around the bases of mature trees, leaving these trees alive and clearing the understory of brush and young trees.”

The next paragraph contrasts these ancient forests to modern ponderosa forests, which have been free of fire for 50 years or longer due to fire-suppression efforts. And we learn that in general, that if fires are kept out of forests, deadwood and other fuels build up.

That leads us to answer B: that the population density of trees in ancient ponderosa forests was generally lower than it is in many ponderosa forests today. We don’t get that statement verbatim in the passage, but that inference is supported by a bunch of information we do get: that low intensity fires cleared out young trees in ancient forests, whereas in ponderosa forests today “other fuels build up.” We can infer that other ponderosas were among those “young trees” burned away in the ancient forests, and that other ponderosas are among those trees left unturned today, giving us an inference about the comparative population density.

I hope that helps! Please let us know if you have further questions.