The joint action of air, moisture, and frost was still another agent of soil-making. This action is called weathering. Whenever you have noticed the outside stones of a spring-house, you have noticed that tiny bits are crumbling from the face of the stones, and adding little by little to the soil. This is a slow way of making additions to the soil. It is estimated that it would take 728,000 years to wear away limestone rock to a depth of thirty-nine inches. But when you recall the countless years through which the weather has striven against the rocks, you can readily understand that its never-wearying activity has added immensely to the soil.
In the rock soil formed in these various ways, and indeed on the rocks themselves, tiny plants that live on food taken from the air began to grow. They grew just as you now see mosses and lichens grow on the surface of rocks. The decay of these plants added some fertility to the newly formed soil.
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