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1.13: Plant Nutrition

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    Nutrition has a critical impact from soil to plants to people levels. Essential nutrients are required by life but cannot be synthesized by the organism. For plants, essential mineral nutrients can be divided into two distinct groups, and they are all required for growth and production:

    1. Macronutrients (needed in larger amounts): nitrogen (\(\mathrm{N}\)), phosphorus (\(\mathrm{P}\)), potassium (\(\mathrm{K}\)), calcium (\(\mathrm{Ca}\)), magnesium (\(\mathrm{Mg}\)), and sulfur (\(\mathrm{S}\))
    2. Micronutrients (trace elements, needed in smaller amounts): zinc (\(\mathrm{Zn}\)), copper (\(\mathrm{Cu}\)), iron (\(\mathrm{Fe}\)), chloride (\(\mathrm{Cl}\)), manganese (\(\mathrm{Mn}\)), molybdenum (\(\mathrm{Mo}\)), boron (\(\mathrm{B}\)), nickel (\(\mathrm{Ni}\)), selenium (\(\mathrm{Se}\)), iodine (\(\mathrm{I}\))

    Climbing of world population to 10 billion by 2050 will clearly require not only more food production but also higher enhanced efficiency of nutrient usage since they are critical limiting factors.

    \(\PageIndex{1}\). Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

    • SLO 13.01: Apply the best practices for learning plant mineral nutrition
    • SLO 13.02: Describe the characteristics of \(\mathrm{N}\) (nitrogen), \(\mathrm{P}\) (phosphorus), and \(\mathrm{K}\) (potassium)
    • SLO 13.03: Describe the importance of zinc (\(\mathrm{Zn}\)) in plants
    • SLO 13.04: Explain some of the common symptoms of nutrient deficiencies
    • SLO 13.05: Identify given plant species with their scientific names based on their key features
    • SLO 13.06: Define soil components
    • SLO 13.07: Describe mycorrhizae and Rhizobia for plant P and N

    \(\PageIndex{2}\). Big Picture


    \(\PageIndex{3}\). Vocabulary and Key Concepts


    \(\PageIndex{4}\). Test Your Knowledge

    • Assessment 1: TRUE or FALSE: Essential nutrients are the most important for the plant life cycle.
    • Assessment 2: NAME THE DEFICIENCY: Old leaf chlorosis, necrotic spots, stunted plants, especially in maize, sorghum, beans, potatoes
    • Assessment 3: NAME THE DEFICIENCY: Old leaf yellowing, light-green whole plant, most common nutrient deficiency.
    • Assessment 4: NAME THE DEFICIENCY: Burnt leaf tips, purple/dark green old leaf, second most common deficiency.

    \(\PageIndex{5}\). Can You Spot There Plants?


    \(\PageIndex{6}\). Check Your Answers

    1. TRUE
    2. \(\mathrm{Zn}\) (zinc deficiency)
    3. \(\mathrm{N}\) (nitrogen deficiency)
    4. \(\mathrm{P}\) (phosphorus deficiency)

    This page titled 1.13: Plant Nutrition is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Gokhan Hacisalihoglu (Florida State Open Publishing) via source content that was edited to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.