Ground cover is any material found on or near the soil surface that protects the soil from the erosive action of wind and water (rain drop impact and overland flow).
Materials such as loose surface stones and dung can provide an effective ground cover, but plant material (herbage ground cover), either alive or dead, is the most common and most important.
The percentage ground cover is usually described as the opposite of percent bare soil surface. It is assessed when viewed from directly above the ground.
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