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Plant Nutrition (Ch. 37). Physiological adaptation. Dogs pee on trees…Why don’t trees pee on dogs?. plant nutrient. NH 3. animal waste. Nutritional needs. Autotrophic does not mean autonomous plants need… sun as an energy source inorganic compounds as raw materials

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physiological adaptation
Physiological adaptation

Dogs pee on trees…Why don’t trees pee on dogs?

plant nutrient


animal waste

nutritional needs
Nutritional needs
  • Autotrophic does not mean autonomous
    • plants need…
      • sun as an energy source
      • inorganic compounds as raw materials
        • water (H2O)
        • CO2
        • minerals
  • Plants require these nutrients in relatively large amounts
    • C, O, H, N, P, K, Ca, Mg, S
local long island soil issues
Local Long Island soil issues


silica based soils- low in P- can be acid

Acid soils bind upmineral ionspH by adding lime


  • Plants require in very small amounts
    • Cl, Fe, Mn, Bo, Zi, Ni, Mb
    • primarily cofactors for enzyme function
nutrient deficiencies
Nutrient deficiencies
  • Lack of essential nutrients
    • exhibit specific symptoms
      • dependent on function of nutrient
      • dependent on solubility of nutrient
magnesium deficiency
Magnesium deficiency

Take 2 fertilizer pellets& call me in the morning

  • Symptoms
    • chlorosis = yellowing of leaves
    • Why? What is magnesium’s function?

Why does magnesium deficiency cause chlorosis?

The chlorosis shows up in older leaves first, because plant moves Mg+ to newer leaves. Why?

the role of soils
The role of soils

Agronomistsreally dig dirt!

  • Plants are dependent on soil quality
    • texture / structure
      • relative amounts of various sizes of soil particles
    • composition
      • organic & inorganic chemical components
      • fertility
importance of organic matter
Importance of organic matter
  • Topsoil
    • most important to plant growth
    • rich in organic matter
      • humus
        • decomposing organic material
          • breakdown of dead organisms, feces, fallen leaves & other organic refuse by bacteria & fungi
        • improves soil texture
        • reservoir of minerals
    • organisms
      • 1 tsp. of topsoil has ~5 billion bacteria living with fungi, algae, protists, insects, earthworms, nematodes

So don’t rakeyour lawn or bag your leaves

soil health as a global issue
Soil health as a global issue

Not taking care of soil health has far-reaching, damaging consequences

  • 1920’s Dust Bowl
  • lack of soil conservation
    • growing the same crop year after year (wheat)
    • grazing by cattle
    • bare ground exposed to wind erosion in winter
    • drought
soil health as a global issue1
Soil health as a global issue
  • Soil conservation & sustainable agriculture
    • maintaining healthy environment
    • sustainable production of food supply
    • economically viable farming industry

“A sustainable agriculture does not deplete soils or people.”

– Wendell Berry

contour plowing

cover crops

crop rotation

  • “Organic” fertilizers
    • manure, compost, fishmeal
  • “Chemical” fertilizers
    • commercially manufactured
    • N-P-K (ex. 15-10-5)
      • 15% nitrogen
      • 10% phosphorus
      • 5% potassium

What are thepolitical, economic,environmentalissues?

nitrogen uptake
Nitrogen uptake
  • Nitrates
    • plants can only take up nitrate (NO3-)
  • Nitrogen cycle by bacteria
    • trace path of nitrogen fixation!


What will the plant use N for?

soybean root nodules
Soybean root nodules
  • N fixation by Rhizobium bacteria
    • symbiotic relationship with bean family (legumes)
increasing soil fertility
Increasing soil fertility

Plow it under?

Why would youthat?

  • Cover crops
    • growing a field of plants just to plow them under
      • usually a legume crop
      • taking care of soil’s health
        • puts nitrogen back in soil

A farmer… outstandingin his field?

erosion control, too

parasitic plants
Parasitic plants
  • tap into host plant vascular system

Indian pipe


plants of peat bogs
Plants of peat bogs
  • High acid environment
    • most minerals & nutrients bound up & are not available to plants
      • must find alternative sources of nutrients
carnivorous plants
Carnivorous plants

Are they really carnivores?


Venus fly trap

Pitcher plant


1. The inorganic compound that contributes most of the mass to a plant’s organic matter is *

  • H2O.
  • CO2.
  • NO32.
  • O2.
  • C6H12O6.

2. You are conducting an experiment on plant growth. You take a plant fresh from the soil and it weighs 5 kg. Then you dry the plant overnight and determine the dry weight to be 1 kg. Of this dry weight, how much would you expect to be made up of inorganic minerals?

  • 50 grams
  • 500 grams
  • 1 kg
  • 4 kg
  • 5 kg

This figure shows the results of a study to determine the effect of soil air spaces on plant growth. Use these data to answer the following question.


3. The best explanation for the shape of this growth response curve is that

  • the plant requires air in the soil for photosynthesis.
  • the roots are able to absorb more nitrogen (N2) in high levels of air.
  • most of the decrease in weight at low air levels is due to transpiration from the leaves.
  • increased soil air produces more root mass in the soil but does not affect the top stems and leaves.
  • the roots require oxygen for respiration and growth.

4. Carnivorous plants have evolved mechanisms that trap and digest small animals. The products of this digestion are used to supplement the plant's supply of

  • energy.
  • carbohydrates.
  • lipids and steroids.
  • minerals.
  • water.