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T15+notes - Soils as a Media for Plant Growth Role of Soil...

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Soils as a Media for Plant Growth (Topic 15) Role of Soil in Plant Growth 1. Support - a place for roots to anchor the plant 2. Water source 3. Aeration - provides O 2 for root respiration 4. Nutrient source Essential Nutrients - those elements necessary for the plant to complete it’s life cycle. Determined by growing plants in hydroponic solutions and regulating which nutrients are given to plants. Plants in general need 17 essential elements (out of a total of 103 known elements); 14 are derived from the soil (see handout). Some other plant species also need sodium (Na) and silicon (Si). In addition to these elements, animals require selenium (Se) and iodine (I) in small amounts. Processes by which plants acquire and redistribute nutrients 1. Uptake - How do plants take up nutrients? a. Foliar uptake - leaves and other green tissues can absorb nutrient ions directly through their stomata. b. Root uptake - the primary uptake mechanism for plant nutrients other than carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. Root uptake can be facilitated by mycorrhizae fungi.
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