About the Plant Nutrition Lesson
An introduction to plant nutritional requirements and adaptations.
• Students will identify sources of nutrients for plants.
• Students will contrast macronutrients with micronutrients.
• Students will understand the role of nitrogen as a special plant nutrient.
• Students will be introduced to the concept of a mutualistic symbiosis.
• Students will examine other sources of plant nutrition such as parasitism and carnivore behavior.
Plants get their nutrition both from the air and from nutrients found in the soil. The carbon that makes up the bulk of a plant comes from carbon dioxide in the air that plants let in through tiny openings in their leaves called stomata. This carbon dioxide is then used along with energy from the sun in the process of photosynthesis to make sugars the plant can use. Plants also require water and minerals found in soil, which they take in through their underground roots.
Macronutrients are elements that plants require in large amounts to live. There are nine macronutrients necessary for plants including carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen. Plants also require eight other micronutrients in smaller amounts in order to survive.