Q:

What is the effect of soil erosion?

A:

Quick Answer

Soil erosion negatively affects the environment by stunting the new growth of plant life due to removal of topsoil. Erosion greatly reduces the quality of the soil.

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Full Answer

Soil erosion is caused by rain, improper farming techniques and wind. When erosion occurs in soil, it typically involves the removal of the top layer. This layer is the topsoil and contains many nutrients essential to supporting plant life. When the topsoil is removed, the quality of the soil is reduced. This results in less plant life growing in the affected area. Plants bind soil together with their roots, and if they are unable to grow in the soil, erosion may be accelerated. Soil erosion can lead to the destruction of animal habitats, forcing them to relocate. Water causes soil erosion by carrying off topsoil during rainfall and dispersing it in the surrounding region.

Improper tillage practices can lead to accelerated soil erosion. If the local plant life is disturbed or removed in high quantities, erosion may occur with little resistance. Cross-slope tillage should be practiced in place of up-and-down-slope tillage because it reduces the effects of erosion. Proper crop rotation provides healthy plant growth in the soil and reduces the effect that wind and rain may have on the soil. Without healthy farming practices focused on the soil, the crops' growth and yield may be negatively affected by erosion.

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