Newswise — May 15, 2019 – The plant Kingdom (with extremely rare exception) is very special in that its members use the energy from sunlight directly in order to grow. This process is called photosynthesis. The energy from the sun is stored in the grains and vegetables people consume. In order to produce those grains and vegetables, plants must invest a significant amount of their energy into the development of their root systems. The Soil Science Society of America’s (SSSA) May 15th Soils Matter blog takes a look at factors that affect root growth.

According to blogger Jake Mowrer, TAMU, soil provides nearly all the things a plant could need, including:

  1. physical anchoring to the Earth’s surface preventing massive loss of plant life to outer space,
  2. many (but not all) nutrients required,
  3. water storage, and
  4. a habitat for beneficial organisms to interact with.

“However, the soil does not do all of this as freely as we might think,” says Mowrer, a soil scientist and educator. “Plants are not passive actors in the soil environment, humming along to themselves idle while nutrients and water jump into their roots. Rather, it takes a substantial amount of effort by the plants to wrest and wrangle away the basics needed to eke out a living from the soil. As a matter of survival, then, they must invest some of the energy gained from sunlight in this process.”

Read the entire post here:  

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