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Soil as a reservoir of Essential Elements

Introduction:

  • Soil provides anchorage, air, water and minerals to the plant growing in it.
  • All the elements which are essential for the growth and development of plants exist within the soil and it is the reservoir of elements.
  • Soil colloids are the particles that retain the nutrients for release into the soil solution for uptake by the roots.
  • Thus, soil colloids maintain the reservoir of soluble nutrients in the soil.

Detailed Explanation:

  • Soil is primarily formed due to the slow breakdown and weathering of rocks.
  • The clay and the humus part forms colloidal particles in the soil. These colloids carry a lot of charges on their surface and also have a large surface area that helps in the interaction with mineral elements.
  • It is also the site of decomposition, a huge number of microbes in the soil decompose the organic remains of plant parts or dead animals and release the minerals bound in organic matter.
  • Soil can maintain a regular supply of minerals due to the activity of decomposers.
  • Nitrogen-fixing bacteria are also found in the soil converting the atmospheric nitrogen into usable forms to be utilized by the plants.
  • Mineral nutrients are withdrawn at a much faster rate from the soil than it gets replenished naturally. Hence, often there is a deficiency of essential minerals in the soil.
  • The deficiency of essential minerals affects crop production, which is replenished through artificial fertilisers.
  • Macro-nutrients like N, P, K, S, etc. and micro-nutrients like Cu, Zn, Fe, Mn, etc. are constituents of fertilisers and are used in crop fields based on their requirement.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
 

Q1. Why is soil considered as a reservoir of elements?
Answer:

  • Soil is primarily formed due to the slow breakdown and weathering of rocks.
  • Soil gets enriched with dissolved ions and inorganic salts.
  • Mineral nutrition term refers to obtaining nutrients from the rock minerals which are necessary for plant growth.
  • Soil contains nitrogen-fixing bacteria, microbes, underground water, air which is supplied to the roots.Soil is primarily formed due to the slow breakdown and weathering of rocks.
  • The clay and the humus part forms colloidal particles in the soil. These colloids carry a lot of charges on their surface and also have a large surface area that helps in the interaction with mineral elements.
  • It is also the site of decomposition, a huge number of microbes in the soil decompose the organic remains of plant parts or dead animals and release the minerals bound in organic matter.
  • Soil can maintain a regular supply of minerals due to the activity of decomposers.
  • Nitrogen-fixing bacteria are also found in the soil converting the atmospheric nitrogen into usable forms to be utilized by the plants.

Q2. What does decomposition add to the soil?
Answer:
Soil is a site of decomposition, a huge number of microbes in the soil decompose the organic remains of plant parts or dead animals and release the minerals bound in organic matter.

Q3. How is the nutrient deficiency in soil treated?
Answer:

  • Mineral nutrients are withdrawn at a much faster rate from the soil than it gets replenished naturally. Hene, often there is a deficiency of essential minerals in the soil.
  • The deficiency of essential minerals affects crop production, which is replenished through artificial fertilisers.
  • Macro-nutrients like N, P, K, S, etc. and micro-nutrients like Cu, Zn, Fe, Mn, etc. are constituents of fertilisers and are used in crop fields based on their requirement.

Q4. What do you mean by mineral nutrition?
Answer:
Mineral nutrition term refers to obtaining nutrients from the rock minerals which are necessary for plant growth.

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