Effects of Soil Erosion on Plants

Sample Essay on Effects of Soil Erosion on Plants

To understand the effects of soil erosion on plants, it is important to consider the role played by the top soil in the growth of plants. Soil erosion is the carrying away of the top soil layer by ice, water and wind. Soil erosion and the growth of plant are two inter-related phenomena.

Top layer of the soil comprises of the nutrients and water that plants need to grow. It also has microorganisms that are involved in the synthesis of some nutrients. As such, soil erosion results in the degradation of the soil because it carries away the layer of the soil that is vital for proper growth of plants.

Nutritional content of the soil is degraded by soil erosion when it carries away essential plants nutrients in the top soil layer. As such, the plants that grow in the soil where soil erosion has occurred are not healthy. In some places, it takes time before plants can grow in a soil that has undergone soil erosion.

For instance, nitrogen which is important for the growth of certain plants is carried away when soil erosion occurs. Phosphorous is also another nutrient that is carried away by soil erosion. Without these nutrients, plants may not grow and when they do they will be weak and might not reach maturity.

Soil erosion also reduces the depth of soil. This implies that after carrying away the top layer, the water table comes closer. This affects the ability of the soil to retain nutrients. It also affects the type of plants that can grow in an area as well as the range of plants growing in an area.

In some places, soil erosion results in the development of gullies. These are eroded channels that are very steep. These features interfere with the stability of the plants that grow in the soil. They also cause landslides which affect proper growth of plants

Deposition of the topsoil that is rich in nutrients in some places results in excessive growth of some plants. For instance, when sediments or top soil and other particles are deposited in the water bodies, chances are that there will be an algal boom. This implies that there will be excessive growth of algae in the water body which can have an impact on the other aquatic lives.

Other plants may also grow in large numbers while others are damaged especially on the upper grounds where soil erosion occurs.

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