Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Handbook of Soils for Landscape Architects$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Robert F. Keefer

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780195121025

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780195121025.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 21 September 2021

Controlling Erosion

Controlling Erosion

Chapter:
(p.69) 7 Controlling Erosion
Source:
Handbook of Soils for Landscape Architects
Author(s):

Robert F. Keefer

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780195121025.003.0009

Erosion can be controlled by four main means, that is, improving soil structure, covering soil with plants, covering soil with mulch, and using special structures. Soil structure is related to the soil tilth, or physical condition of a soil, with respect to ease of tillage or workability as shown by the fitness of a soil as a seedbed and the ease of root penetration. Other terms relating to soil structure improvement are soil aggregation and the formation of aggregates. Aggregates form when a cementing substance is present in a soil. The most important cementing substances in soil are soil polysaccharides and soil polyuronides produced as by-products from microorganisms during decomposition of organic matter. Other less important cementing substances in soil include clays, Ca, and Fe. Formation of aggregates results in improved water infiltration with reduction in erosion. Decomposition of organic matter in soils can be shown as an equation: . . . Plant and animal remains + O2 + soil microorganisms → CO2 + H2O + elements + humus + synthates + energy . . . The decomposition process has the following features: . . . 1. Oxygen is required; thus soil aeration is important. Anytime a soil is stirred or mixed by cultivation, spading, plowing, some organic matter decomposition occurs. 2. Readily available decomposable organic material is required for the microbes to work on. Green organic material, such as grass clippings, is an excellent substrate. 3. Many different types of soil microorganisms are involved in this process. Decomposition is more rapid in soils at pH 7 (neutral). 4. A product of organic decomposition is humus. Humus has many desirable features that improve a soil for plant growth. 5. Plant or animal remains are not effective in soil aggregation until they begin to decompose. 6. The more rapid the decomposition, the greater effect of soil aggregation. . . . Microbial synthates consist of polymers called “polysaccharides” and “polyuronides.” A polymer is a long-chain compound made up of single monomer units hooked together acting as a unit. The term “poly” means “many” and “saccharide” means “sugar.”

Keywords:   breast walls, infiltration, polysaccharides, terraces

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .