Agronomy and Horticulture Department


Date of this Version



Published in Science, New Series, Vol. 82, No. 2128 (Oct. 11, 1935), pp. 354-355.


Plant cover, soil and topography are the major factors concerned in the problem of erosion. During the earlier studies, conducted largely by engineers, chief emphasis was placed upon topography. Following extensive work by pedologists, it is now generally conceded that type of soil is an equally important factor. Intensive studies on the effect of plant cover reveal the extremely important role played by plants in holding the soil against the forces of erosion. In this preliminary account of the relative effectiveness of roots as compared to tops in holding the soil in place, the results are based on extensive experiments with cultivated crops and native vegetation.