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Plant and Animal Nutrition

Plant and Animal Nutrition - Nutrition/Digestion in Plants...

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Nutrition/Digestion in Plants & Animals What is the common thread in these images?
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Soils Have a Complex Structure Soils have living & nonliving components Living – plant roots, microorganisms Nonliving – rock fragments, gasses, minerals, H 2 O, dead organic matter Soil is formed by weathering of rock by mechanical (physical) or chemical means.
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Soil quality is a major determinant of plant distribution and growth Along with climate, the major factors determining whether particular plants can grow well in a certain location are the texture and composition of the soil Texture is the soil’s general structure Composition refers to the soil’s organic and inorganic chemical components
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Soils Have a Complex Structure Soils are generally arranged into layers (Horizons) A Horizon – topmost horizon consisting of most of the organic matter and living components of soil (top soil) B Horizon – Zone of infiltration and accumulation of materials leached from the A horizon C Horizon – original parent material from which top 2 layers formed
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Ion Exchange Plants obtain their mineral nutrients from the soil in the form of ions from the surface of clay particles which have a negative charge In order to release the positively charged ions required by plants, H + ions are exchanged from the plant releasing nutrient ion into solution where it is taken up by the plant Clay effectively retains + ions in the soil but there is no such exchange for – ions. PO 4 -2 , NO 3 - , SO4 - are rapidly leached from the A horizon while + ions are retained.
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Soil Conservation and Sustainable Agriculture In contrast to natural ecosystems, agriculture depletes the mineral content of the soil, taxes water reserves, and encourages erosion The goal of soil conservation strategies is to minimize this damage
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Fertilizers Correct Mineral Deficiencies The three elements most commonly added to soils in the form of fertilizer are N, P, K Fertilizer package is labeled with % N, P, K (buy fertilizer not filler) Organic fertilizers need to be biologically broken down to release minerals. Slow release, less leaching. Plants effect their soil. Plant litter is a source of carbon-rich material that breaks down to form Humus (dark-colored organic material with particles too small to see by eye, that improves plant growth, recycle leaves and plant litter)
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pH alters mineral availability Mineral deficiency can occur when the minerals are inaccessible to the plant due to alkaline or acidic pH Most minerals form soluble carbonates at moderately low pH – these can be taken up by the plant At alkaline (high) pH or very low pH, some minerals are inaccessible
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Unusual nutritional adaptations in plants Staghorn fern, an epiphyte EPIPHYTES PARASITIC PLANTS CARNIVOROUS PLANTS Mistletoe, a photosynthetic parasite Dodder, a non-photosynthetic parasite Venus’ flytrap Pitcher plants Sundews
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Strangler Fig: Ultimate Killing Tree?
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The four stages of food processing Pieces of food
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