It has been over a decade since the discovery of how plants take up and re-translocate silica (Si), one of the most abundant elements on earth. Further focus on the element has revealed that it plays an important role in alleviating the effects of biotic and abiotic stress; however, still much remains to be understood.
Of the sixteen nutrients that plants need to grow, develop, reproduce and remain healthy, there are seven that we refer to as micronutrients: zinc (Zn), copper (Cu), manganese (Mn), iron (Fe), boron (B), chloride (Cl) and molybdenum (Mo).
While these nutrients are used in minute amounts, they are just as important to plant growth and development as the macronutrients and secondary nutrients, with some of them playing an important role in controlling key processes and the uptake of macros. For example, molybdenum deficiency reduces nitrogen and phosphorus uptake, while zinc deficiency can reduce overall plant vigor, growth and the uptake of other nutrients.
As we discussed in our previous blog post, plants require large amounts of macronutrients to grow and thrive. The secondary nutrients – calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg) and sulfur (S) – are just as vital to plant growth and development, though they are required in lesser amounts than the macros.
Plants require a total of 16 nutrients to grow, develop, reproduce and remain healthy. Three of these nutrients – nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) – are required in relatively large amounts. These are known as macronutrients.
Knowing what makes crops emerge, grow and flourish is one thing; finding the right balance is a whole other story! In this post, the first in our series on the relationship between nutrients, we take a look at what happens when an over-abundance of one element causes a deficiency of another.