Chapter 37 - Chapter 37 Soil and Plant Nutrition 1 Soil...

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Chapter 37 Soil and Plant Nutrition 1 Soil contains a living, complex ecosystem 2 Plants require essential elements to complete their life cycle 3 Plant nutrition often involves relationships with other organisms Nutrition: study of composition of nutrients & how body uses them. how organisms acquire & use food 1 Soil contains a living, complex ecosystem Plants: obtain water & minerals from upper layers of soil Upper layer living microorganisms takes centuries to form but can be destroyed if mismanaged Soil particles: classified by size: largest (sand) smallest (clay particles) sand, silt or clay Weathering of rocks different sized particles Mechanical fracturing Water freezing in rock crevices Root growth inside rock crevices Chemical fracturing Weak acids in soil break up rocks (secreted by root roots) Soil arranged into soil horizons: Topsoil: Mineral particles + microorganisms + humus (decaying organic material) Litter layer (L): helps predict % of seeds that will survive (small seed in deep litter hard) Germinant length: If hypocotyls can push dried leaves out of way or remain in darkness. If radicle can reach damp soil (seven day period without rain) or it will desiccates (short) Seed under leaf (water no problem but light yes) Seed on top of leaf (light no problem but water yes) Ex: Germinants ~ 5 cm:
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Plants nourished by soil solution (water & dissolved minerals in pores between soil particles) Pores contain air pockets Heavy rainfall: water drains from larger spaces in soil Smaller spaces retain water (attraction to clay & other particles) Film of loosely bound water available to plants Loams : most fertile topsoils (equal amounts of sand, silt & clay (slightly less) Sand: coarse & large air spaces. (Great oxygenation but no water) Rainfall: water lost.
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