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3rd CPR -

Plants and animals both gather resources from...

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<P> Plants and animals both gather resources from the environment but in different ways. Plants use sunlight as a resource. Plants can gain energy from the nutrients in the soil and their roots bring water from the ground. Humans also need water but in our case it is consumed, not simply sucked up. These and other major factors cause plants and animals to receive different levels of resources. <P> Not all elements found in plant composition are essential for survival. An essential element is defined by the element’s necessity for the plant to complete a life cycle and produce another generation. Many chemical elements are reflective of the soil composition from which the plant grows. Researchers use hydroponic cultures, a way of growing plants in mineral solutions rather than soil, to identify 17 essential elements needed by all plants. <P> Nine of these essential elements are macronutrients, elements that plants need in large amounts. Carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, phosphorus, and sulfur are the major components of organic compounds forming the structure of the plant. The remaining three macronutrients are potassium, calcium and magnesium.
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