Soil Health in an Anthropogenic Landscape

Soil Health in an Anthropogenic Landscape



Pepper Julia Cantwell, Olivia P. Fenner, Ellise K. Westerheide


Presentation: 10:45 a.m.-12:00 p.m., Kennedy Union Ballroom

This project reflects research conducted as part of a course project designed to give students experience in the research process.

Course: BIO 459L



With the knowledge of roads being a man-made structure that can have important ecological effects, we were interested in how these structures can affect root growth and soil characteristics. By measuring root growth, soil moisture, and pH at varying distances from a paved road, we can learn how anthropogenic factors affect soil. It’s important to address these scientific questions at this time of civilization because we are encroaching on natural resources now more than ever before. Using a soil coring method, we can test pH and soil moisture levels, as well as collect and record any root samples captured in each core. From past research, an ideal soil moisture for the type of soil we are testing would be between 10-18 percent and with a neutral pH of around 7. High root growth generally indicates a healthy system, so that would be ideal too. We expect to see the amount of root growth and moisture increase as we get further away from the road, as well as the ideal pH starting to appear as samples are taken away from the road.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Course Project

Primary Advisor

Kathleen A. Kargl, Chelse M. Prather

Primary Advisor's Department



Stander Symposium project, College of Arts and Sciences

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

Life on Land; Sustainable Cities and Communities

Soil Health in an Anthropogenic Landscape