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#2 - When old-growth forests are cleared of tall trees, more

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Complete Question Explanation

Resolve the Paradox. The correct answer choice is (D)

The paradox presented in this stimulus is as follows:

Clearing old growth forests allows more sunlight in, increasing the leafy shrubs that mule deer eat. Yet, those mule deer that live in such cleared forests tend to be less nourished. The correct answer to this question stem will help to explain this seemingly contrary outcome.

Answer choice (A): This choice fails to explain why more sun, and more leafy shrubs, would lead to less nourished mule deer, so it is incorrect.

Answer choice (B): Since the deer eat vegetation, they don’t necessarily rely on adult males for food, so this choice would not explain why the deer surrounded by more leafy shrubs would be less well-nourished.

Answer choice (C): The variability of the temperature tolerances of the deer is irrelevant to the question surrounding sunlight, vegetation, and nourishment.

Answer choice (D). This is the correct answer choice, providing a detrimental effect associated with increased sunlight: the more sunlight, the more tannins, the more difficult the digestive process. This explains why we might expect those mule deer in cleared forests to be less nourished.

Answer choice (E): This answer choice actually expands the paradox, because this provides another element that would seem to benefit the mule deer in the cleared forests—those with less trees from which such parasites can drop.
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I understand how D resolves the paradox, but what is wrong with B. My thinking was that If there are more deer in the cleared forests (more females with young offspring) then there could be a greater demand for food and more deer would be eating the food, thus, there may not be enough food for all the deer and that is why they were less well nourished (essentially though increase in food available, also increase in consumers, this possible decrease in overall consumption per deer).

Thank you.
Emily Haney-Caron
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Hi LSAT99.9,

I think the problem here is that you're making the assumption with B that there are fewer overall deer, but that's not what B says. It says there are more female and young deer, and fewer male deer. There could still be exactly the same number, and since there's no reason to think that female and young deer need more food than male deer, it just doesn't impact the conclusion at all. Does that make sense?