Table of Contents
Nutrition in Plants – Autotrophic and Heterotrophic Nutrition
Modes of Nutrition
There are six modes of nutrition: autotrophic, heterotrophic, mixotrophic, parasitic, saprophytic, and mycorrhizal. Autotrophic modes of nutrition occur when an organism uses inorganic molecules to produce organic molecules from energy from the sun or oxidation of inorganic molecules. Heterotrophic modes of nutrition occur when an organism uses organic molecules to produce energy. Mixotrophic modes of nutrition occur when an organism uses both autotrophic and heterotrophic modes of nutrition. Parasitic modes of nutrition occur when an organism lives in or on another organism and extracts nutrients from its host. Saprophytic modes of nutrition occur when an organism uses dead organic matter as a source of nutrients. Mycorrhizal modes of nutrition occur when an organism lives in a mutualistic relationship with a fungus.
Plants need nutrients to grow, and the type and amount of nutrients a plant needs depends on the type of plant. Macronutrients are nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K), and sulfur (S), and plants need these in relatively large amounts. Micronutrients are copper (Cu), iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), molybdenum (Mo), and zinc (Zn), and plants need these in relatively small amounts.
Plants get their nutrients from the soil, and the most important nutrients for plants are nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. When plants don’t get enough nutrients, they can’t grow properly and may even die. Farmers and gardeners can add fertilizers to the soil to provide these nutrients, and they can also add organic matter to the soil to help plants get the nutrients they need.
The texture is determined by the size and shape of the soil particles. The texture of soil can affect the ability of the soil to hold water and air, as well as the ability of the soil to support plant growth. Sandy soils have large, angular soil particles, while clay soils have small, round soil particles. Soil texture is also affected by the amount of organic matter present in the soil.
Nitrogen Nutrient Functions
Nitrogen is an important nutrient in plant growth and development. It is a component of DNA, proteins, and other molecules in plants. Nitrogen is also important in chlorophyll production, the pigment that helps plants convert sunlight into energy. Chlorophyll is necessary for photosynthesis, which produces the food plants need to grow.
Phosphorus Nutrient Functions
Phosphorus is a nutrient that is important for plant growth and health. It is a component of DNA, RNA, and ATP, which are essential for life. Phosphorus is also important for photosynthesis and energy production in plants.
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Autotrophic Nutrition in Plants
In autotrophic nutrition, plants produce their food from simple inorganic molecules in the soil. Plants use light energy from the sun to convert carbon dioxide and water into glucose and oxygen. The glucose is then used for growth and other cellular activities.
Essential Nutrients for Plants
There are six essential nutrients for plants: nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and sulfur.
Conditions Required for Photosynthesis:
- Carbon dioxide
Photosynthesis is Broken Down into Several Steps:
- The light energy liberates electrons from water molecules which combine with CO 2 to form O2 in photosynthesis.
- The light energy liberates electrons from water molecules which combine with CO to form O2 in photosynthesis. The electrons are used to convert CO 2 into GLUCOSE.
- The electrons are used to convert CO into GLUCOSE. The water molecules are converted into O2 and released into the atmosphere.
- The water molecules are converted into O2 and released into the atmosphere. The photosynthesis process is an endothermic process that requires the
addition of energy to take place.
Plants with Heterotrophic Nutrition
Most plants are autotrophic, meaning that they produce their food through photosynthesis. However, a few plants rely on heterotrophic nutrition, meaning that they must consume other organisms for food. These plants typically live in moist environments where organic matter is abundant. Examples of heterotrophic plants include pitcher plants, sundews, and Venus flytraps.
Heterotrophic plants are those that rely on other organisms for food. This group includes all plants that are not autotrophic, including those that are parasitic or saprophytic.
- Parasitic nutrition is a form of nutrition in which one organism, the parasite, lives off of another organism, the host, to the detriment of the host. Parasitic nutrition is common in animals but can also occur in plants.
- There are a number of different ways in which parasites can obtain nutrition from their hosts. One common way is through feeding on the host’s blood. Parasites can also feed on the host’s tissues or food. The parasites can even steal nutrients from the host’s cells in some cases.
- Parasitic nutrition can be harmful to the host in a number of ways. First, the parasites can consume the host’s nutrients, leaving the host less to use for its growth and development. Second, the parasites can damage the host’s tissues, leading to infection, tissue death, and even organ failure. Third, the parasites can spread diseases to the host. Finally, the host’s immune system may become overwhelmed by the parasites, leading to sickness and death.
- Despite the harm that parasitic nutrition can cause, there are some benefits to the host. For example, some parasites can help protect the host from other diseases. Additionally, some parasites may help the host to digest food more efficiently.