PLANT NUTRITION: MEANING, MICRO AND MACRO NUTRIENTS, PROCESSES, FUNCTIONS, DEFICIENCIES

Nutrition a very important part of our lives is helpful or detrimental if eaten in moderate or deficient quantities. These plays a major part in or lives as its composed mainly of the foods we eat which builds us up. These nutritional diet are composed of the foods gotten from either plants, animals or alternative uses. In essence, plants are also comprised of their nutritional needs gotten from different sources in the environment either through photosynthesis, osmosis, etc.

Plant nutrition is the study of the compounds and chemical elements needed for the optimal growth of the plants, external supply and its own form of metabolism.

The criteria which are essential elements for the critical growth of plants are as follows

The plant is unable to complete a normal life cycle in the absence of these critical elements
Some essential plant constituent is part of the element.

The essential nutrients needed for the plants nutrition are oxygen, carbon and hydrogen which are gotten from the air while other nutrients includes nitrogen which is mainly gotten from the soil.

The following mineral nutrients essential for plant nutrition are;

Micro Nutrients which is comprised of Chlorine, Cobalt, Manganese, Copper, zinc, Molybdenum, Iron

Macro Nutrients which is comprised of Sodium, Potassium, Nitrogen, Magnesium, Sulfur, Calcium.
These micro nutrients which are usually trace in nature are present in plant tissues measuring in quantities of parts per million while the macro nutrients are consumed in larger quantities with hydrogen, carbon, oxygen, nitrogen contributing 95% of the plants entire biomass on the basis of dry matter in weight.
Most soil conditions across the various parts of the world supports the plants adapted to its own different climate also providing sufficient nutrients which helps the plants grow well and brings increase in plant yields without adding artificial nutrients known as fertilizer.

PROCESSES OF PLANT NUTRITION
This process involves the plant taking up its essential elements from the soil through the plant roots and from the air through the plant leaves. When plants take in nutrients through the soil this process is made possible by exchange of cations while the root hairs of the plants gives hydrogen ions to the soil through sodium pumps. Whereas, the leaves the stomata takes in carbon dioxide and gives out oxygen.

FUNCTIONS OF PLANT NUTRIENTS
Plant nutrients plays very important functions as to help the plant grow optimally. Without these functions, the plants will not grow well and the processes needed for their processes may be altered. These micro and macro molecules plays important parts in the plants when there are excess of it, it causes toxicity while if in deficiency, causes another element toxic.

1. CARBON
This is the backbone of most plants biomolecules as all elements are contained of it. These includes starch, cellulose and proteins. Photosynthesis is a form which fixes carbon into the air, which is converted from carbon dioxide to carbohydrates in the air. Its also used to transport and store energy in the plant.

2. HYDROGEN
This is used for the build-up of sugars and the plant. Hydrogen basically is gotten from water. These hydrogen ions are important for proton gradient which helps pushes further the electron transport chain and also used for the plant’s respiration.

3. OXYGEN
This is also plays a very important part in plant’s nutrition as it’s a component of many inorganic and organic molecules within the plant which can be gotten in different forms. The production of oxygen gas with glucose is made possible during photosynthesis but require oxygen ions to perform its aerobic cellular respiration process and also breaking down glucose to produce ATP.

PLANT NUTRITION DEFICIENCY
This is caused by various factors which affects the growth of the plant in diverse forms which can come in forms of stunted growth of the plants, discoloration, distress, deformity of the plant and ultimately death.

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