Mineral Nutrition

  • R. M. M. Crawford


Provided some moisture is available, and this need only be as much as will condense in dew from a cloud zone, there is scarcely any habitat in the world that is too hostile to support plant life. The variety of adaptation found in green plants has produced species with roots that live and extract nutrition from every possible substrate. With some species the roots may hang in air (figure 6.1) while in others they are to be found buried in every type of soil from pure sand and gravel to peat, or even—as with hydrophytes—totally submerged in water. The ecological enterprise of plants in obtaining their nutrients provides ample evidence of the truth of Spinoza’s maxim (even if a little out of context) that ‘Nature abhors a vacuum’.


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Further Reading

  1. A. D. Bradshaw, M. J. Chadwick, D. Joyett and R. W. Snaydon, ‘Experimental Investigations into the mineral Nutrition of Several Grass Species; IV Nitrogen level’, J. Ecol., 52 (1964) pp. 665–76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. D. H. Kohl, G. B. Shearer and B. Commoner, ‘Fertilizer Nitrogen: Contribution to Nitrate in Surface Water in a Corn Belt Water Shed’, Science, 174 (1971) pp. 1331–4.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. K. D. White, Roman farming (Thames & Hudson, London, 1970).Google Scholar

Nutrient Absorption

  1. E. Epstein, Mineral Nutrition of Plants: Principles and Perspectives (Wiley, New York, 1972).Google Scholar
  2. J. L. Harley, Biology of Mycorrhiza (Leonard Hill, London, 1969).Google Scholar
  3. H. Lundegårdh, Plant Physiology (Elsevier, New York, 1966).Google Scholar
  4. J. S. Pate and B. E. S. Gunning, ‘Transfer cells’, A. Rev. Pl. Physiol., 23 (1972) pp. 173–96.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. R. N. Robertson, Protons, Electrons, Phosphorylation and Active Transport (Cambridge University Press, 1968).Google Scholar

Mineral Supply and Plant Growth

  1. M. M. R. K. Afridi and E. J. Hewitt, ‘The Inducible Formation and Stability of Nitrate Reductase in Higher Plants’, J. exp. Bot., 16 (1965) pp. 628–45.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. G. Bond, ‘Fixation of Nitrogen by Higher Plants other than Legumes’, A. Rev. Pl. Physiol., 18 (1967) pp. 107–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. C. D. Pigott and K. Taylor, The Distribution of some Woodland Herbs in Relation to the Supply of Phosphorus and Nitrogen in the Soil’, J. Ecol., 52 (1964) pp. 175–85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. W. D. P. Stewart, ‘Algal Fixation of Atmospheric Nitrogen, Pl. Soil, 32 (1970) pp. 555–88.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Minerals with Adverse Effects on Plant Growth

  1. A. D. Bradshaw, R. S. McNeilly and R. P. G. Gregory, ‘Industrialization, Evolution and the Development of Heavy Metal Tolerance in Plants’, Symp. Br. ecol. Soc., 5 (1965) pp. 327–43.Google Scholar
  2. D. T. Clarkson, ‘Calcium Uptake by Calcicole and Calcifuge Species in the Genus Agrostis L.’, J. Ecol., 54 (1965) pp. 167–78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. W. Ehrler, ‘Some Effects of Salinity on Rice’, Bot. Gaz., 122 (1960) pp. 102–4.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. J. Levitt, Responses of Plants to Environmental Stresses (Academic Press, New York, 1972).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Limited 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. M. M. Crawford

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