Results 1 to 5 of 5
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Croatian
      • Home Country:
      • Croatia
      • Current Location:
      • Italy

    • Join Date: Aug 2004
    • Posts: 190
    #1

    At the root of

    "Out on the plateau there’s a small creature that’s at the root of much of the grasslands’ delicate ecology."


    What is the meaning of the phrase "at the root of"?
    Does it mean "responsible for" or something else?

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England

    • Join Date: Feb 2005
    • Posts: 2,585
    #2

    Re: At the root of

    Hello Lukre,

    In the grasslands, A feeds on B, B feeds on C, C feeds on D, etc. These dependencies form the ecology of the grasslands.

    At the end of many of these chains of dependency, according to your author, you are very likely to find the "small creature".

    Best wishes,

    MrP

    Not a professional ESL teacher.

  1. BobK's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK

    • Join Date: Jul 2006
    • Posts: 16,038
    #3

    Re: At the root of

    But it's not just a question of what eats what. The small furry animal's waste products may be essential for the growth of a unique kind of plant life, or it may be an essential pollinator for the main crop, or something like that.... If it's a mammal, it's not going to be at the bottom of a food chain. But MrP's word is well chosen: "dependencies".

    b

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England

    • Join Date: Feb 2005
    • Posts: 2,585
    #4

    Re: At the root of

    I was hoping it might be a member of Tardigrada.

    (I feel they deserve more publicity.)

    MrP

    Not a professional ESL teacher.


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
    • Posts: 19,434
    #5

    Re: At the root of

    Poor little things - lacking publicity

Similar Threads

  1. root words
    By Unregistered in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 09-Apr-2008, 05:40
  2. Prefix, root and suffix
    By alal6375 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 21-Dec-2007, 10:26
  3. Root vs Source vs Spring
    By micaelo in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 18-Sep-2007, 15:37
  4. Root Beer
    By zoobinshid in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 10-Aug-2005, 07:59
  5. Root Words & Affixes
    By Ed Joaquin in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 08-Aug-2003, 20:32

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •