lec31 (dragged) - Lecture 31 1 Lecture 31 Agricultural...

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1 Lecture 31 Agricultural Scienti c Revolution: Chemical Crop Nutrition Interest in materials that would increase crop growth dates to antiquity. The early Greek philosophers proposed the strikingly modern concept that plants are derived from a combination of chemicals. Democritus of Abdera (ca 460–360 BCE ) proposed what could be considered as akin to the atomic theory: Mother earth when fructi ed by rain gives birth to crops for the nourishment of man and beast. But that which come from earth must return to earth and that which came from air to air. Death however, does not destroy matter but only breaks up the union of is elements which are then re- combined into other forms. In contrast, Aristotle (384–322) believed all material constituents were derived from the mutual convert- ibility of the four elements: earth, water, fi re, and air, a concept that was upheld to the medieval period and beyond. Aristotle assumed that plants assimilated organic matter from the roots, the beginning of what has
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