How does grass prevent soil erosion?

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This science experiment mocks soil erosion on a smaller scale. Learn about the physical makeup of grass and how it prevents soil erosion.

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How does grass prevent soil erosion?

  1. 1. How Does Grass PreventSoil ErosionThis PowerPoint is part ofthe Science Projects Series
  2. 2. Abstract
  3. 3. What Is Grass?• Grass in the mostcommon name for theGramineae family ofplants• There are more than9,000 species of thisplant in the world.• Grass is one of the onlyflowering plants that donot have colorful petals
  4. 4. Where is Grass?• Grass can be foundin almost anyterrain around theworld• Grass is found inforests, tundra’s,deserts, jungles, etc.
  5. 5. Ins and Outs of Grass• Generally grass isgreen because of thegreen pigments insideof it, known aschlorophyll• Through the process ofphotosynthesis, thechlorophyll helpsconvert sunlight intoenergy
  6. 6. Ins and Outs of Grass• At the base of grass areits roots. The roots growbeneath the ground• Grass roots are fibrous(thread-like)• They gather nutrientsand water to feed theplant as well secure it inplace
  7. 7. Ins and Outs of Grass• Next are the culms,also known as grassstems• Culms are normallyhollow until you reachthe node – solid jointsconnecting stemsection together
  8. 8. Ins and Outs of Grass• Each grass leaf is made oftwo parts: the upper part isthe blade and the lowerpart is the sheath• The blade is made up ofgrowth tissue; therefore, ifit is cut it will continue togrow• The sheath supports theblade and wraps aroundthe stem
  9. 9. Ins and Outs of Grass• There are two main typesof stems: stolons andrhizomes• Stolons grow above theground and rhizomes growbelow the ground• New grass grows fromstolons and rhizomes,which nurture the newplant until it is strongenough to survive on itsown
  10. 10. Why is Grass Important?• Grass is a major foodsource for people andanimals – Rice and cornboth grow from grassplants• In some parts of theworld, grass plants, such asbamboo, play an importantrole in construction• Grass is also used to makeproducts such assugar, bread, and plastic
  11. 11. Erosion Prevention• Erosion is when Earth’ssubstances are brokendown and carriedaway by means ofwind or water• Fibrous roots are whathelp to hold soiltogether so that windand water do noteasily erode the soil
  12. 12. PurposeTo determine how grass affects soil erosion
  13. 13. Materials• Six 12-ounce paper cups• Soil• One marker• Tap water• One pencil• Two 6x2 inch pieces ofcorrugated cardboard• Shallow cookie tray (orplastic serving tray)• Grass clippings
  14. 14. Procedure
  15. 15. Procedure1. Fill two paper cups with soil1. Fill three of the paper cups with water1. With the pencil, make six small holes in thebottom of one of the remaining paper cups –use the marker to label the cup A1. Position the cookie tray on a flat surfaceoutdoors
  16. 16. Procedure5. Place the piece of cardboard in the cookie tray so thatthe narrow ends of the cardboard are on the edge ofthe tray6. Pour one of the cups of soil on the cardboard andspread it into a thin layer7. Hold up cup A approximately 6 inches above the soilon the cardboard – while in this position pour waterfrom one of the cups into cup and move cup A backand forth across the soil as if mimicking rain
  17. 17. Procedure8. Once the water has stopped running off thesoil covered cardboard, examine how muchsoil in the tray9. Now remove the cardboard and use a secondcup of water to wash the soil out of the tray10.Repeat step 4, 5, and 6, covering thecardboard with the other cup of soil
  18. 18. Procedure11. Cover the soil on the cardboard with a thicklayer of grass clippings12. Repeat steps 7 and 8
  19. 19. Results• The dirt was washed off the cardboard intothe pan• More soil is washed away from the uncovereddirt layer than from the layer of soil with grasscovering it
  20. 20. Conclusion• The falling water from the cup acted as rain,which in real life erodes soil by moving it fromone place to another• When the soil is covered with a layer of grassclippings, less soil is eroded• The grass clippings act like grass blades, whichactually provide a protective cover for soil
  21. 21. Additional Info• This experiment canalso be substitutedwith wind instead ofwater by using anormal or handheldfan
  22. 22. For more information on topics like this visit ourResource page at www.Microempowering.org

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