Nutrition is the mode of taking food by an organism and its utilisation by the body. Plants, unlike humans and animals, require nutrients for their growth and development. Nutrients are the elements found in our food such as vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, fats, etc. Plants are the only living things, which are capable of synthesising their own food by the biological process called Photosynthesis.
There are two different modes of nutrition:
Autotrophic – All green plants exhibit autotrophic nutrition and synthesise food with the help of light, carbon dioxide, chlorophyll pigments, water and other essential minerals from the soil.
Heterotrophic – An organism, which depends on other sources for their food is termed as Heterotrophic nutrition. Both human beings and other vertebrates are called heterotrophs, as they depend on plants for their food. Insectivorous, parasitic, saprophytic and symbiotic are different types of heterotrophic plants that are mainly classified based on their mode of nutrition.
Explore more: Nutrition in Plants
Altogether, plants require seventeen elements, which are necessary for their growth and metabolism. The plant absorbs available nutrients from the soil.
There are more interesting facts about nutrition in plants, which have been listed below:
Facts about Nutrition in Plants
Plants are the only living species that can manufacture their own food and this is mainly because of the presence of specialized structures in the plant cell.
The shape of plants and trees are triangular because they need more sunlight to carry out the process of photosynthesis. Therefore, the shape of plants and trees are in such a way that they get the maximum amount of sunlight.
Plants absorb nutrients through their roots. They require nutrients and water up through the stem to the parts that are above ground level.
Nutrition in Plants is both through the autotrophic and heterotrophic mode of nutrition. Plants with chlorophyll pigments in their cells synthesise their food. Plants, which lack chlorophyll pigments, depend on autotrophic plants for their food. These plants are called heterotrophic plants.
Also Refer: Difference between Autotrophs and Heterotrophs
Photosynthesis is the process of synthesis of food by green plants, which usually occurs in plants with green leaves.
The green colour pigment present in the plants’ cells is called chlorophyll, which is present inside the chloroplasts and abundantly found in leaves. Therefore, leaves are the main sources of Photosynthesis.
The chloroplast is a type of a cell organelle, found in all plant cells and they contain chlorophyll, the green coloured pigment, which is responsible for
the synthesis of food in green plants.
The major source of plant nutrition is the fixation of atmospheric carbon dioxide into simple sugar using the energy of the sun. During the process of photosynthesis, the carbon dioxide present in the atmosphere enters through the stomata.
Also Refer: Photosynthesis
As we all are aware of, the process of photosynthesis takes place in the leaves of green plants. However, in some desert plants, cacti or cactus, the process takes place in their stem and branches as their leaves are modified to spines to avoid loss of water due to transpiration.
Like humans and animals, plants do require two types of nutrients- macronutrients and micronutrients. Macronutrients include nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium and sulphur. The micronutrients include boron, chlorine, copper, iron, manganese, molybdenum and zinc.
Also Refer: Difference between macronutrients and micronutrients