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There have been numerous well-documented extinctions of indigenous species caused by the introduction of non-indigenous predators and pathogens. However, surprisingly few extinctions of indigenous species can be attributed to competition from introduced species. For example, during the past 400 years, 4,000 plant species have been introduced into North America, and these non-indigenous plants currently account for nearly 20 percent of North Americas plant species. Yet noevidence exists that any indigenous North American plant species became extinct as a result of competition from new species could mean that such extinctions take longer to occur than scientists initially believed or, alternatively, that extinctions are rarely caused by competition from non-indigenous species.
The passage is concerned primarily with
The author introduces statistics about North Americas non-indigenous plant species primarily in order to
The relevance of the literary personality-a writer's distinctive attitudes, concerns, and artistic choices-to the analysis of a literary work is being scrutinized by various schools of contemporary criticism. Deconstructionists view the literary personality, like the writers biographical personality, as irrelevant. The proper focus of literary analysis, they argue, is a works intertextuality( interrelationship with other texts), subtexts (unspoken, concealed, or repressed discourses), and metatexts (self-referential aspects), not a perception of a writers verbal and aesthetic "fingerprints." New historicists also devalue the literary personality, since, in their emphasis on a works historical contexts, they credit a writer with only those insights and ideas that were generally available when the writer lived. However, to readers interested in literary detective work--say scholars of classical (Greek and Roman) literature who wish to reconstruct damaged texts or deduce a work`s authorship-the literary personality sometimes provides vital clues.
The passage is primarily concerned with
In the context in which it appears, "credit writer with" most nearly means
Soil communities are dependent on plants for organic matter. Plants provide organic matter for soil communities through the decomposition of leaf litter, by oozing nutrients from roots, or through other methods of deposition of organic compounds into the soil environments. As a result of these diverse methods by which plants supply resources, unique soil communities form under different plant species and under plant communities that differ in composition. If a nonnative plant species invades an above-ground community of flora and fauna, it can alter links between the native above-ground community and the below-ground soil community. For example, an invading nonnative plant could alter the quantity of leaf litter production, which would alter nutrient contributions to the soil.

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