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Chapter 1 – Nutrition in Plants

The following Topics and Sub-Topics are covered in this chapter and are available on MSVgo:

Introduction

Nutrition in Plants talks about the nutrition process and the importance of nutrition in living organisms. It also discusses various modes of nutrition in plants and animals.

Nutrition is an essential process without which the survival of living organisms is impossible. Fats, carbohydrates, and vitamins are a few of the nutrients necessary for living organisms’ survival. Some living organisms produce their food, while some are dependent on others. 

Nutrition in Plants’ covers the following essential topics:

    • Mode of nutrition in plants
    • Photosynthesis
    • How do plants make food?
    • Other modes of nutrition in plants – heterotrophic plants
    • How nutrients are replenished In the soil
    • Mineral nutrition in plants

Nutrition is an essential part of a plant’s life as it helps in the growth of plants, replenishment of any damaged plant body part, and to stay healthy.

Many plants are not dependent on anyone and make their food using natural resources like sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide, but some are dependent on other living organisms for nutrition. So, the mode of nutrition in plants can be broadly classified as:

    • Autotrophic mode of nutrition
    • Heterotrophic mode of nutrition

Many plants can make their food using natural resources, and such a mode of nutrition is known as autotrophic nutrition. They are classified as the primary producers in the food chain.

But have you ever wondered, how do plants make food? It is through photosynthesis, which is the food-making process in plants.

Photosynthesis is the food making process in plants by which plants make food for themselves and other heterotrophic living organisms. It occurs in the leaves of the plants. Following are the steps involved in photosynthesis:

    • Capturing energy from sunlight using chlorophyll, which is a green pigment in the leaves of the plants.
    • The light energy is then converted into chemical energy for the production of food.
    • Water present in the leaves is then converted into oxygen and hydrogen.
    • The chemical energy is then used to convert carbon dioxide into glucose for the production of food.

Following are the conditions essential for the process of photosynthesis:

    • Sunlight
    • Water
    • Carbon dioxide
    • Chlorophyll present in plants

Some plants do not produce their food and are dependent on other living organisms as the green pigment called chlorophyll is not present in them. Such a mode of nutrition in plants is known as heterotrophic mode of nutrition, and such plants are known as heterotrophic plants.

Following are the different heterotrophic modes of nutrition in plants:

    • Parasitic nutrition
    • Insectivorous nutrition
    • Saprophytic nutrition
    • Symbiotic nutrition

Parasites are plants that are directly dependent on other living organisms for nutrition. The plants on which parasites are dependent do not benefit from this relationship, for example, Cuscuta.

Insectivorous plants are plants that have a unique feature or part of capturing insects. They absorb nutrients from the captured insect using special digestive juices, for example, Pitcher plants.

Plants that obtain necessary nutrients from dead plants and animals are known as saprotrophs. It contains the same digestive juices as insectivorous plants and uses it to absorb essential nutrients, for example, Mushrooms.

In such a nutrition mode, two plants have a close association and show a symbiotic relationship to produce nutrients. Both the plants involved in a symbiotic relationship get benefit from this relationship.

Mineral nutrition in plants occurs because of the various minerals present in the soil. Soil provides plants with nutrients like potassium, nitrogen, phosphorus, etc. So, it is crucial to replenish nutrients present in the soil for mineral nutrition in plants. Replenishment of the soil is done using two methods:

    • We can replenish the soil by adding fertilisers and manures to replenish nutrients in the soil. These fertilisers are added with essential nutrients necessary for the growth of plants.
    • Growing leguminous crops like peas and pulses to provide bacteria Rhizobium food and shelter converts nitrogen present in the atmosphere into soluble nitrogen for plants’ use. This process of converting atmospheric nitrogen is known as nitrogen fixation.

Nutrition in plants is a vital science chapter and a life lesson on how nutrition occurs in different living organisms, mostly plants that are the primary food chain producers. This chapter forms the basis for other important topics like nutrition in animals and nutrition in human beings.

  1. What are the types of nutrition in plants?
    Types of nutrition in plants are broadly classified as:

    • Autotrophic nutrition
    • Heterotrophic nutrition
  2. What is the importance of nutrition in plants?
    Nutrition is an essential process without which plants’ survival is impossible as it helps in the growth of plants, replenishment of damaged plant parts, and staying healthy.
  3. What are the three types of nutrition?
    Following are the three types of nutrition in plants:

    • Autotrophic nutrition
    • Heterotrophic nutrition
    • Symbiotic nutrition
  4. What is nutrition in plants and animals?
    Nutrition in plants and animals is how these living organisms absorb nutrients from the environment, obtain food and utilise it.
  5. Why do plants and animals need nutrition?
    Plants and animals need nutrition because of the following reasons:

    • To stay healthy.
    • For proper growth
    • Replenishment of any damaged body part
    • Obtain energy to perform necessary tasks and work.

Nutrition in plants is an exciting and essential chapter of science. So, the visual representation of topics is necessary. The MSVgo app is a video library that helps you understand topics through exploratory visualisations. MSVgo helps you to understand the science behind concepts and phenomena through animations and videos. So, do check out the videos on the MSVgo app for better understanding and clarification.

High School Physics

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