Homework Help

How do plants cause weathering?

user profile pic

sharnee1 | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 28, 2008 at 5:59 AM via web

dislike 1 like

How do plants cause weathering?

3 Answers | Add Yours

user profile pic

melony82 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted October 28, 2008 at 10:08 AM (Answer #1)

dislike 0 like

Plants can cause both mechanical and chemical weathering. 

Mechanical weathering occurs when roots grow and cause the rock to break (just like the roots that crack the sidewalk).  

Chemical weathering occurs when roots release chemicals, like acid, which then break down the rocks.

user profile pic

atyourservice | TA , Grade 11 | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted July 28, 2014 at 8:45 AM (Answer #2)

dislike 0 like

The roots of plants can grow and slowly cause rocks to break as the pressure of their roots increase. 

user profile pic

strwbrry16 | Student, Grade 5 | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted October 31, 2014 at 1:47 PM (Answer #3)

dislike 0 like

Biological weathering is the weakening and subsequent disintegration of rock by plants, animals, and microbes.

Growing plant roots can exert stress or pressure on rock. Although the process in physical, the pressure is exerted by a biological process (ex. growing roots). Biological processes can also produce chemical weathering, for example, when plant roots or microorganisms produce organic acids which help to dissolve minerals.


Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes