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WATER
Lesson 5 - Page 4

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The vegetation in watersheds effects the quality of the water. Grasses, shrubs, and trees make up the majority of plant cover. As they fall and decompose, they add the organic components to the soil. Trees are the protectors of the watershed. The tree litter protects the soilís surface as the roots of the tree protect the soil from erosion. Trees also provide a canopy that keeps the water cool so organisms donít die of thermal pollution. The canopy can also reduce the force of the rain and the velocity of wind in a watershed.

Plant cover is important to a watershed to prevent the erosion of valuable soil as water rushes downstream. Plant cover also provides food and protection for many small organisms.

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