Can Plants Prevent Erosion

By: Akshata T.
Year: 2022
School: Aliso Niguel High School
Grade: 11
Science Teacher: Robert Jansen

This project is about whether or not plants can help prevent erosion. Erosion is the geological process in which earthen materials are worn away and transported by natural forces such as wind or water. Anthony hypothesized that soil with plants inside it will prevent the ground from eroding events.

In this project, Group A had a cube on top of it, but the soil holding the cube has no plants inside. Group B had a cube with the same qualities as the other cube, but the soil will have plants inside it. The student flooded the soil, simulated rain on the soil and other eroding events. The he compared the two groups, and find a conclusion.

“We think that having more plants in the soil will make the soil stronger because the plants’ roots will grab the soil to extract nutrients and other necessities,” Anthony said. “Our independent variable is the amount of plants, which we chose as our research showed us that soil with plants that have stuck roots inside the soil make the soil have more structure, instead of being all loose. Our dependent variable is the quality of the soil’s structure. We selected this dependent variable as it can easily be tested, as just pouring water through soil with almost no structure will just take some soil away, which shows the quality of the soil’s structure. The amount of plants will cause there to be better soil structure. The amount of plants causes this because the plants have roots, which stick into the soil, and hold that soil together, in order for the plant to obtain resources from the soil, which is a good relationship.”

The effect is that the soil loses some resources, but, it is much harder for erosion to break the soil apart.

“Our project also helps our community,” Anthony explained. “It can help the community right now, as our school is currently facing a problem like this, and they’ve used a solution similar to ours; they placed plants and organic matter over the soil, in order to prevent the lower area of the school from flooding. The impact of our research on individuals, businesses, organizations, and the environment in our community is a very good one.”

“It shows that just putting some plants can help to protect your land from crumbling apart and shattering its beauty (individuals and environment). It can help organizations such as Kiss the Ground, in order to help preserve soil and keep it together. And businesses can begin to sell bundles for this kind of ordeal. For example, they can make a bundle with soil, a trowel, a shovel, and some plants, in order to give people the chance to get their items without searching all over, gaining publicity, and of course, making a profit. Solving this issue will help our community a lot, as many people will be able to know an easy solution to keeping their soil firm and not have it crack into pieces, like in deserts. Businesses could find new ways to appeal to their customers using this research. Organizations such as Kiss the Ground will have a new way to approach soil erosion and soil conservation. Individuals will be able to keep helping their land look nice and beautiful.”