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The passage is concerned primarily with
The author introduces statistics about North America`s 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 writer`s biographical personality, as irrelevant. The proper focus of literary analysis, they argue, is a work`s intertextuality (interrelationship with other texts), subtexts (unspoken, concealed, or repressed discourses), and metatexts (self-referential aspects), not a perception of a writer`s verbal and aesthetic "fingerprints." New historicists also devalue the literary personality, since, in their emphasis on a work`s 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 a writer with" most nearly means
The author mentions Medea primarily in order to
Some historians have recently challenged the "party period paradigm," the view, advanced by McCormick and others, that political parties--especially the two major parties--in the United States between the years 1835 and 1900 evoked extraordinary loyalty from voters and dominated political life. Voss-Hubbard cites the frequency of third-party eruptions during the period as evidence of popular antipathy to the two-party regime. He correctly credits third parties with helping generate the nineteenth century`s historically high rates of voter turnout by forcing major parties to bolster supporters' allegiance, lest minor parties siphon off their votes, and with pushing policy demands that the major parties ignored. Formisano stresses the pervasive record of nonpartisan and anti-party governance at the local level, and women` s frequent participation in nineteenth-century public life, prior to their enfranchisement, in nonpartisan and antiparty ways as evidence of the limitations of the party period paradigm. Yet McCormick would deny that the existence of antiparty sentiment during the period undermined the paradigm, since he has always acknowledged the residual strength of such sentiment during the nineteenth century. In any case, the strength of the paradigm is its comparative thrust: the contrast it draws between the period in question and earlier and later political eras.
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.
According to the passage, plants supply resources to soil communities by which of the following methods?

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