How does soil erosion affect plant growth?
Soil erosion leads to decrease in agricultural productivity because of loss of nutrient rich top soil layer, eventually leading to desertification.
Organic matter is a small fraction of soil, mainly present on the soil surface. Erosion gradually depletes organic matter and decreases soil productivity.
Soil erosion leads to degradation of soil structure leading to hard , compact and clodddy soil. This results in poor soil aeration. Water holding capacity and soil permeability are also decreased.
Decreased aeration results in less oxygen availability for plant roots.
Decreased water content results in results in less water availability for healthy plant growth.
Decreased water permeability results in a great deal of run off water.
Beneficial organisms that suppress diseases and breakdown of organic residues do not function well due to reduced nutrient storage and supply ability of the soil.
Thus soil erosion affects healthy plant growth.