January 9, 2015
Whether you’ve considered it or not, soil erosion is one of the most common natural processes. The term refers to any of the physical processes that loosen and displace soil from its original site. While soil erosion in some areas causes little concern, in high traffic residential and commercial areas including Ann Arbor, Michigan, the effect can be significant and have a detrimental effect on landscaping and the surrounding area.
Erosion is caused by both natural processes and human activities. Understanding the most common causes of this physical process can help us work to prevent and even reverse the effects of erosion.
1. Excessive Cultivation
One of the most common causes of soil erosion is overuse or overcultivation of the land. This overuse involves repeatedly cultivating and replanting and regrowing crops in the same location before the area has had adequate time to regenerate. This overuse leads to:
- Decline in soil quality
- Reduced soil productivity
- Increased soil rigidity
As the soil is less stable, it is more likely to break off and shift, leading to problematic erosion issues and concerns.
Much like overcultivation, overgrazing is an issue of overuse. This cause of erosion is established as animals are left to graze a particular area in too large a number for the land to support. As the animals consume more grass, the area loses its top-covering, which again makes the soil unstable. The lack of stability and cohesiveness contributes to erosion. Areas that have been overgrazed are particularly susceptible to wind and water erosion as the soil is unprotected.
3. Removing Vegetation
Removing vegetation or even deforestation in some areas is considered the leading cause of erosion in many areas, especially residential and commercial areas of Ann Arbor Michigan. This act of removing vegetation involves not only removing trees but also extracting greenery, shrubs, grasses, and other forms of ground covering. As the soil is left exposed, it is susceptible to erosion and diminished fertility. Not only can the erosion that arises from the removal of vegetation cause road slips and other issues, it also contributes to the loss of nutrients in the soil that sustain growth and development.
The more that we overuse the land and fail to replenish it with necessary nutrients and appropriate vegetation; the greater an issue erosion will become. This issue causes significant damage in some areas including:
- Road slippage
- Water blockages
- Water contamination
There are a number of things that we can do to reverse erosion, though.
One of the key factors to reduce erosion involves landscaping. Covering exposed soil with healthy vegetation that is nurtured to develop and grow contributes to the reestablishment of the soil itself and combats erosion. Appropriate vegetation in many areas includes grasses, shrubbery, and even trees that have a low impact on the nutrient density of the land.
Do your part today and consider landscaping an area in your neighborhood or community of Ann Arbor Michigan to prevent erosion.
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