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Asked by Micheal

What are the causes of increased soil erosion?

Hey Micheal, I think a helpful way to reframe this is to consider, rather than what causes soil erosion, what keeps soil held together. Some of that has to do with the moisture content of the soil (i.e., since water tends to naturally be hydrophilic), but most significant factors are that plant root systems and fungal hyphae hold the soil together. As such, anything that significantly distrupts the root systems of plants or the hyphal mats of fungi would increase the chance of soil erosion occurring. Some factors that would do this include deforestation from wild fires and slash-and-burn agriculture, along with agricultural that involves tilling the soil, as well as disperal of substances that disrupt the microbiome of the soil which keeps plant and fungal growth healthy, such as herbicides, fungicides, and nitrogenous fertilizers. I hope that this clears up your question!

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Daniel Laufer
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