Function: Particle retention potential

Stability of soil aggregates plays an important role in erosion control. Vegetation, especially roots, and fungi hold together smaller soil particles. They also decrease the power of raindrops or water currents to detach particles, and decrease the amount of water in the soil by absorbing it.

First step of erosion occurs when larger soil particles are dispersed into smaller soil particles. This can be a consequence of, for example, soil management actions as the vegetation is removed and the root and fungi system destroyed. In the barren soil raindrops and water streams may cause more damage as the running water is able to catch the particles and carry them away into the water system. Also the amount of excessive water may increase in the barren soil which, consequently, increases the possibility of soil particles diffusing into the solution. Smaller soil particles are yet held together by organic molecules, minerals or metal compounds, but without surrounding vegetation and fungi network they are more unstable.

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