Ask Dr. Universe: How do plants hold dirt?

Dr-Universe-230PULLMAN, Wash. – The other day, I wandered into a Washington State University greenhouse and ran into my friend Mechthild Tegeder, a professor and expert on plants.

Dr.-Universe-with-leavesShe gently dug a small plant out of a pot so we could take a closer look. When she lifted it up, I pawed at the clumpy soil hanging from the bottom to reveal some stringy roots.

“They’re amazing, aren’t they?” Tegeder said. “The root system functions like a web, anchoring the plant and the soil.”

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