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Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System

2012, High School Biology

  Question 45: Open-Response  
The trees in tropical rain forests are important to nutrient cycling in the biosphere.
  1. Describe one role of the trees in the carbon cycle.
  2. Describe one role of the trees in the oxygen cycle.
  3. Describe one role of the trees in the water cycle.
Some rain forest trees are destroyed by burning, while some others are cut down and left on the forest floor.
  1. Describe one way that burning rain forest trees affects nutrient cycling differently than cutting them down and leaving them on the forest floor.

Scoring Guide and Sample Student Work
Select a score point in the table below to view the sample student response.

ScoreDescription
4 The response demonstrates a thorough understanding of how carbon, oxygen, and water cycle in an ecosystem. The response clearly describes a role of rain forest trees in the carbon cycle, the oxygen cycle, and the water cycle. The response also clearly describes one way that burning rain forest trees affects nutrient cycling differently than cutting the trees down.
4
3 The response demonstrates a general understanding of how carbon, oxygen, and water cycle in an ecosystem.
2 The response demonstrates a limited understanding of how carbon, oxygen, and water cycle in an ecosystem.
1 The response demonstrates a minimal understanding of how carbon, oxygen, and water cycle in an ecosystem.
0 The response is incorrect or contains some correct work that is irrelevant to the skill or concept being measured.

Note: There are 2 sample student responses for Score Point 4.

High School Biology

Question 12: Evolution and Biodiversity
Question 23: Biochemistry and Cell Biology
Question 32: Anatomy and Physiology
Question 44: Genetics
Question 45: Ecology

Return to the MCAS 2012 Student Work Directory



Last Updated: September 12, 2016
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