Plant Nutrients and Soil - 1As studied in Biology 211, cells need a variety of atoms and molecules to sustain life.Animals extract their nutrients, including organic fuel molecules, from the foods theyconsume by the process of digestion. Absorbed nutrients are circulated to cells andtissues, and non-digested materials are eliminated as waste products. Becauseanimals obtain the vast majority of their nutrients from the foods they eat, obtainingfood resources is a major activity of most animals. (See ecology section). Most of us are familiar with the nutrient requirements for humans, and we know that ifwe fail to make good nutritional choices we may have health problems and nutritionaldeficiencies.Plants, too, have nutrient requirements. Although plants manufacture their owncarbohydrates, proteins and lipids from inorganic materials, they require a number ofminerals and other molecules needed to synthesize their cells' needs. If plants do notget their needed nutrients, they will have growth problems just like we do.
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