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Soil structure: Healthy soil has a good structure that allows water to infiltrate easily and reduces surface runoff. When soil is compacted or lacks organic matter, it becomes more prone to erosion.
Organic matter: Healthy soil contains organic matter (soil organanic matter or SOM), which can help bind soil particles together and improve soil structure. Organic matter retains moisture in the soil, reducing the likelihood of runoff.
Vegetation: Plants help prevent erosion by stabilizing the soil with their roots and reducing the impact of raindrops on the soil surface. The root systems of plants also create channels for water to infiltrate the soil, reducing runoff.
Microorganisms: The microbiome of healthy soil contains microorganisms that help break down organic matter and create soil aggregates. These aggregates can help prevent erosion by binding soil particles together.
Cover crops: Planting cover crops, such as grasses or legumes, can help prevent erosion by protecting the soil surface from rain and wind. Cover crops also help improve soil health by adding organic matter and fixing nitrogen in the soil.