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Soil and Plant Nutrition

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1 Soil and Plant Nutrition
Chapter 37 Soil and Plant Nutrition

2 Overview: A Horrifying Discovery
Carnivory by pitcher plants is well-documented An extreme example is Nepenthes rajah, a pitcher plant large enough to catch a rat N. Rajah lives in very unproductive soil and uses carnivory to obtain nutrients such as calcium, potassium, and phosphorus © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.

3 Figure 37.1 Figure 37.1 A rat trap?

4 Concept 37.1: Soil contains a living, complex ecosystem
Plants obtain most of their water and minerals from the upper layers of soil Living organisms play an important role in these soil layers This complex ecosystem is fragile The basic physical properties of soil are Texture Composition © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.

5 Soil Texture Soil particles are classified by size; from largest to smallest they are called sand, silt, and clay Soil is stratified into layers called soil horizons Topsoil consists of mineral particles, living organisms, and humus, the decaying organic material © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.

6 Figure 37.2 A horizon B horizon Figure 37.2 Soil horizons. C horizon

7 Soil solution consists of water and dissolved minerals in the pores between soil particles
After a heavy rainfall, water drains from the larger spaces in the soil, but smaller spaces retain water because of its attraction to clay and other particles Loams are the most fertile topsoils and contain equal amounts of sand, silt, and clay © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.

8 Topsoil Composition A soil’s composition refers to its inorganic (mineral) and organic chemical components © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.

9 Inorganic Components Cations (for example K+, Ca2+, Mg2+) adhere to negatively charged soil particles; this prevents them from leaching out of the soil through percolating groundwater © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.

10 During cation exchange, cations are displaced from soil particles by other cations
Displaced cations enter the soil solution and can be taken up by plant roots Negatively charged ions do not bind with soil particles and can be lost from the soil by leaching Animation: How Plants Obtain Minerals from Soil © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.

11 Soil particle   K K        Ca2 Ca2 Mg2 K H H2O  CO2
Figure 37.3 Soil particle K K Ca2 Ca2 Mg2 K H H2O  CO2 H2CO3 HCO3  H Figure 37.3 Cation exchange in soil. Root hair Cell wall

12 Organic Components Humus builds a crumbly soil that retains water but is still porous Topsoil contains bacteria, fungi, algae, other protists, insects, earthworms, nematodes, and plant roots These organisms help to decompose organic material and mix the soil © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.

13 Soil Conservation and Sustainable Agriculture
Soil management, by fertilization and other practices, allowed for agriculture and cities In contrast with natural ecosystems, agriculture depletes the mineral content of soil, taxes water reserves, and encourages erosion The American Dust Bowl of the 1930s resulted from soil mismanagement © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.

14 Figure 37.4 Figure 37.4 A massive dust storm in the American Dust Bowl during the 1930s.

15 At present, 30% of the world’s farmland has reduced productivity because of soil mismanagement
The goal of sustainable agriculture is to use farming methods that are conservation-minded, environmentally safe, and profitable © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.

16 Irrigation Irrigation is a huge drain on water resources when used for farming in arid regions For example, 75% of global freshwater use is devoted to agriculture The primary source of irrigation water is underground water reserves called aquifers The depleting of aquifers can result in land subsidence, the settling or sinking of land © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.

17 Figure 37.5 Figure 37.5 Sudden land subsidence.

18 Drip irrigation requires less water and reduces salinization
Irrigation can lead to salinization, the concentration of salts in soil as water evaporates Drip irrigation requires less water and reduces salinization © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.

19 Fertilization Soils can become depleted of nutrients as plants and the nutrients they contain are harvested Fertilization replaces mineral nutrients that have been lost from the soil Commercial fertilizers are enriched in nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) Excess minerals are often leached from the soil and can cause algal blooms in lakes © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.

20 Organic fertilizers are composed of manure, fishmeal, or compost
They release N, P, and K as they decompose © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.

21 Adjusting Soil pH Soil pH affects cation exchange and the chemical form of minerals Cations are more available in slightly acidic soil, as H+ ions displace mineral cations from clay particles The availability of different minerals varies with pH For example, at pH 8 plants can absorb calcium but not iron © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.

22 Controlling Erosion Topsoil from thousands of acres of farmland is lost to water and wind erosion each year in the United States Erosion of soil causes loss of nutrients © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.

23 Erosion can be reduced by
Planting trees as windbreaks Terracing hillside crops Cultivating in a contour pattern Practicing no-till agriculture © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.

24 Figure 37.6 Figure 37.6 Contour tillage.

25 Phytoremediation Some areas are unfit for agriculture because of contamination of soil or groundwater with toxic pollutants Phytoremediation is a biological, nondestructive technology that reclaims contaminated areas Plants capable of extracting soil pollutants are grown and are then disposed of safely © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.

26 Concept 37.2: Plants require essential elements to complete their life cycle
Soil, water, and air all contribute to plant growth 80–90% of a plant’s fresh mass is water 4% of a plant’s dry mass is inorganic substances from soil 96% of plant’s dry mass is from CO2 assimilated during photosynthesis © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.

27 Macronutrients and Micronutrients
More than 50 chemical elements have been identified among the inorganic substances in plants, but not all of these are essential to plants There are 17 essential elements, chemical elements required for a plant to complete its life cycle Researchers use hydroponic culture to determine which chemical elements are essential © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.

28 TECHNIQUE Control: Solution containing all minerals
Figure 37.7 TECHNIQUE Figure 37.7 Research Method: Hydroponic Culture Control: Solution containing all minerals Experimental: Solution without potassium

29 Nine of the essential elements are called macronutrients because plants require them in relatively large amounts The macronutrients are carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, phosphorus, sulfur, potassium, calcium, and magnesium © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.

30 Plants with C4 and CAM photosynthetic pathways also need sodium
The remaining eight are called micronutrients because plants need them in very small amounts The micronutrients are chlorine, iron, manganese, boron, zinc, copper, nickel, and molybdenum Plants with C4 and CAM photosynthetic pathways also need sodium Micronutrients function as cofactors, nonprotein helpers in enzymatic reactions © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.

31 Symptoms of Mineral Deficiency
Symptoms of mineral deficiency depend on the nutrient’s function and mobility within the plant Deficiency of a mobile nutrient usually affects older organs more than young ones Deficiency of a less mobile nutrient usually affects younger organs more than older ones The most common deficiencies are those of nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.

32 Healthy Phosphate-deficient Potassium-deficient Nitrogen-deficient
Figure 37.8 Healthy Phosphate-deficient Potassium-deficient Figure 37.8 The most common mineral deficiencies, as seen in maize leaves. Nitrogen-deficient

33 Improving Plant Nutrition by Genetic Modification: Some Examples
Plants can be genetically engineered to better fit the soil © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.

34 Smart Plants “Smart” plants inform the grower of a nutrient deficiency before damage has occurred A blue tinge indicates when these plants need phosphate-containing fertilizer © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.

35 No phosphorus deficiency Beginning phosphorus deficiency
Figure 37.9 No phosphorus deficiency Beginning phosphorus deficiency Well-developed phosphorus deficiency Figure 37.9 Deficiency warnings from “smart” plants.

36 Concept 37.3: Plant nutrition often involves relationships with other organisms
Plants and soil microbes have a mutualistic relationship Dead plants provide energy needed by soil-dwelling microorganisms Secretions from living roots support a wide variety of microbes in the near-root environment © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.

37 Soil Bacteria and Plant Nutrition
The layer of soil bound to the plant’s roots is the rhizosphere The rhizosphere contains bacteria that act as decomposers and nitrogen-fixers © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.

38 Rhizobacteria Free-living rhizobacteria thrive in the rhizosphere, and some can enter roots The rhizosphere has high microbial activity because of sugars, amino acids, and organic acids secreted by roots © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.

39 Rhizobacteria can play several roles
Produce hormones that stimulate plant growth Produce antibiotics that protect roots from disease Absorb toxic metals or make nutrients more available to roots © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.

40 Bacteria in the Nitrogen Cycle
Nitrogen can be an important limiting nutrient for plant growth The nitrogen cycle transforms nitrogen and nitrogen-containing compounds Plants can absorb nitrogen as either NO3– or NH4 Most soil nitrogen comes from actions of soil bacteria © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.

41 Nitrogen-fixing bacteria Denitrifying bacteria
Figure 37.10 ATMOSPHERE N2 N2 ATMOSPHERE SOIL Nitrate and nitrogenous organic compounds exported in xylem to shoot system Nitrogen-fixing bacteria N2 Denitrifying bacteria H (from soil) NH4 SOIL NH3 (ammonia) NH4 (ammonium) NO3 (nitrate) Ammonifying bacteria Nitrifying bacteria Figure The roles of soil bacteria in the nitrogen nutrition of plants. Organic material (humus) Root

42 Nitrogen-fixing bacteria
Figure 37.10a-1 N2 Nitrogen-fixing bacteria Figure The roles of soil bacteria in the nitrogen nutrition of plants. NH3 (ammonia) Ammonifying bacteria Organic material (humus)

43 Nitrogen-fixing bacteria Denitrifying bacteria
Figure 37.10a-2 N2 N2 ATMOSPHERE SOIL Nitrate and nitrogenous organic compounds exported in xylem to shoot system Nitrogen-fixing bacteria Denitrifying bacteria H (from soil) NH4 NH3 (ammonia) NH4 (ammonium) NO3 (nitrate) Figure The roles of soil bacteria in the nitrogen nutrition of plants. Ammonifying bacteria Nitrifying bacteria Organic material (humus) Root

44 Conversion to NH4 Conversion to NO3–
Ammonifying bacteria break down organic compounds and release ammonia (NH3) Nitrogen-fixing bacteria convert N2 into NH3 NH3 is converted to NH4 Conversion to NO3– Nitrifying bacteria oxidize NH3 to nitrite (NO2–) then nitrite to nitrate (NO3–) © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.

45 Nitrogen is lost to the atmosphere when denitrifying bacteria convert NO3– to N2
© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.

46 Nitrogen-Fixing Bacteria: A Closer Look
Nitrogen is abundant in the atmosphere, but unavailable to plants because of the triple bond between atoms in N2 Nitrogen fixation is the conversion of nitrogen from N2 to NH3 N2  8e  8 H  16 ATP  2 NH3  H2  16 ADP  16 Pi Symbiotic relationships with nitrogen-fixing Rhizobium bacteria provide some plant species (e.g., legumes) with a source of fixed nitrogen © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.

47 Along a legume’s roots are swellings called nodules, composed of plant cells “infected” by nitrogen-fixing Rhizobium bacteria © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.

48 Bacteroids within vesicle Nodules
Figure 37.11 Bacteroids within vesicle Nodules Roots 5 m Figure Root nodules on a legume. (a) Soybean root (b) Bacteroids in a soybean root nodule

49 Inside the root nodule, Rhizobium bacteria assume a form called bacteroids, which are contained within vesicles formed by the root cell © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.

50 The plant obtains fixed nitrogen from Rhizobium, and Rhizobium obtains sugar and an anaerobic environment Each legume species is associated with a particular strain of Rhizobium The development of a nitrogen-fixing root nodule depends on chemical dialogue between Rhizobium bacteria and root cells of their specific plant hosts © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.

51 Dividing cells in root cortex 1
Figure 37.12 Rhizobium bacteria Infection thread Dividing cells in root cortex 1 Chemical signals attract bacteria and an infection thread forms. 2 Bacteroids form. Infected root hair Nodule vascular tissue Bacteroid Dividing cells in pericycle Bacteroid Bacteroids Root hair sloughed off Developing root nodule Figure Development of a soybean root nodule. 3 Growth continues and a root nodule forms. Sclerenchyma cells 5 The mature nodule grows to be many times the diameter of the root. 4 Nodule vascular tissue The nodule develops vascular tissue. Bacteroid

52 Nitrogen Fixation and Agriculture
Crop rotation takes advantage of the agricultural benefits of symbiotic nitrogen fixation A nonlegume such as maize is planted one year, and the next year a legume is planted to restore the concentration of fixed nitrogen in the soil © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.

53 Instead of being harvested, the legume crop is often plowed under to decompose as “green manure”
Nonlegumes such as alder trees and certain tropical grasses benefit from nitrogen-fixing bacteria Rice paddies often contain an aquatic fern that has mutualistic cyanobacteria that fix nitrogen © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.

54 Fungi and Plant Nutrition
Mycorrhizae are mutualistic associations of fungi and roots The fungus benefits from a steady supply of sugar from the host plant The host plant benefits because the fungus increases the surface area for water uptake and mineral absorption Mycorrhizal fungi also secrete growth factors that stimulate root growth and branching © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.

55 Mycorrhizae and Plant Evolution
Mycorrhizal fungi date to 460 million years ago and might have helped plants colonize land © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.

56 The Two Main Types of Mycorrhizae
Mycorrhizal associations consist of two major types Ectomycorrhizae Arbuscular mycorrhizae © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.

57 In ectomycorrhizae, the mycelium of the fungus forms a dense sheath over the surface of the root
These hyphae form a network in the apoplast, but do not penetrate the root cells Ectomycorrhizae occur in about 10% of plant families including pine, spruce, oak, walnut, birch, willow, and eucalyptus © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.

58 Mantle (fungal sheath)
Figure 37.13aa Epidermis Cortex Mantle (fungal sheath) Epidermal cell (Colorized SEM) Endodermis Fungal hyphae between cortical cells 1.5 mm Mantle (fungal sheath) Figure Mycorrhizae. (LM) 50 m (a) Ectomycorrhizae

59 In arbuscular mycorrhizae, microscopic fungal hyphae extend into the root
These mycorrhizae penetrate the cell wall but not the plasma membrane to form branched arbuscules within root cells Hyphae can form arbuscules within cells; these are important sites of nutrient transfer Arbuscular mycorrhizae occur in about 85% of plant species, including grains and legumes © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.

60 Arbuscular mycorrhizae (endomycorrhizae)
Figure 37.13ba Cortical cell Epidermis Cortex Endodermis Fungal vesicle Fungal hyphae Casparian strip Root hair 10 m Arbuscules Plasma membrane (LM) Figure Mycorrhizae. (b) Arbuscular mycorrhizae (endomycorrhizae)

61 Agricultural and Ecological Importance of Mycorrhizae
Farmers and foresters often inoculate seeds with fungal spores to promote formation of mycorrhizae Some invasive exotic plants disrupt interactions between native plants and their mycorrhizal fungi For example, garlic mustard slows growth of other plants by preventing the growth of mycorrhizal fungi © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.

62 Epiphytes, Parasitic Plants, and Carnivorous Plants
Some plants have nutritional adaptations that use other organisms in nonmutualistic ways Three unusual adaptations are Epiphytes Parasitic plants Carnivorous plants An epiphyte grows on another plant and obtains water and minerals from rain © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.

63 Staghorn fern, an epiphyte
Figure 37.15a Figure Exploring: Unusual Nutritional Adaptations in Plants Staghorn fern, an epiphyte

64 Parasitic plants absorb sugars and minerals from their living host plant
© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.

65 Mistletoe, a photo- synthetic parasite
Figure 37.15b Figure Exploring: Unusual Nutritional Adaptations in Plants Mistletoe, a photo- synthetic parasite Dodder, a nonphotosynthetic parasite (orange) Indian pipe, a nonphoto- synthetic parasite of mycorrhizae

66 Sundews Pitcher plants Venus flytrap Figure 37.15c
Figure Exploring: Unusual Nutritional Adaptations in Plants Pitcher plants Venus flytrap

67 Carnivorous plants are photosynthetic but obtain nitrogen by killing and digesting mostly insects
Video: Sun Dew Trapping Prey © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.

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