Scientists removed all viruses from a seawater sample and then measured the growth rate of the plankton population in...

Antionette on December 30, 2013

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Please explain why C is correct.

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Melody on January 3, 2014

We know that the scientists expected the growth rate of the plankton population in the water to increase dramatically when they removed all viruses from a seawater sample. But, the population actually got smaller. To help explain the unexpected result, the correct answer must touch upon some way that the viruses in the seawater helped the plankton.

This is why answer choice (C) is correct. If the plankton "utilize nutrients released by the death of organisms killed by viruses," then the complete eradication of the viruses will leave the plankton in need of nutrients. Therefore, answer choice (C) is correct because it most helps to explain the unexpected result in the experiment.

Hope that helped! Please let us know if you have any other questions.