Plant nutrition

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Apple leaf with deficiency symptoms

The Phytotrophologie from Greek phyton plant, Trophologie nutrition, so plant nutrition or shortly Plant Nutrition , deals with the nutrition of crops as a branch of Agricultural Chemistry . The interdisciplinary research area develops from questions of soil science , botanical basics and applied topics to increase yield and quality in agriculture , horticulture , forestry and nutritional science.

Aspects and classification

  • Plant physiological issues - plant nutrition as a supply of substances for growth;
  • ecological issues - nutrition of the plant in relation to location and environment;
  • agronomic questions - amount of yield, quality as a target of plant growth;

While plant physiology as a botanical sub-area is devoted to nutritional issues independent of the substrate, the influence of the substrate on growth is being researched in plant nutrition . Ecology is (also) concerned with the plants at the site - plant nutrition with the yield of cultivated plants at the site; Soil science considers the soil and its properties - plant nutrition considers the soil as the location of the plants.

Agriculture and crop production benefit from the researched connections, the chemical aspects of fertilization . Historically, it has long been disputed whether plants feed on humus ( humus theory ) or whether mineral nutrients are decisive for plant nutrition. With the discovery of the main nutrients and other essential trace nutrients , this question could be scientifically clarified through vegetation experiments.

Recent research by Torsten Müller , Günter Neumann and colleagues investigate the influences of bioeffectors (plant substrates and soil organisms) on the nutrient supply of plants in different locations .

historical development

Plant growth and yield

Minimum ton

The production of biomass for food and vegetable raw materials occurs through growth on the basis of photosynthesis and other growth factors - physical, chemical or biotic in nature. Yield factors are climate and soil factors, availability of water, of nutrients, presence of toxic substances, pH value of the substrate , organic substances.

The quantitative relationships are determined in vegetation tests and using analytical methods. The results are presented in the form of statistical statements or as an income law . An example of this is Liebig's law of the minimum , shown in the picture of the minimum bin or the law of optimum and other results on growth factors .

The yield possibilities in connection with fertilization, irrigation, resistance of the plants due to nutritional factors , yield quality , food quality - for example, protein content in wheat or nitrate content in leafy vegetables are also examined and optimized .

See also


  • Arnold Finck : Plant nutrition in brief . 3rd revised edition. Hirt, Kiel 1976, ISBN 3-554-80197-6 , ( Hirt's key word books ).
  • Wilfried Zorn, G. Marks, H. Heß, W. Bergmann: Handbook for the visual diagnosis of nutritional disorders in cultivated plants . Elsevier, Munich et al. 2007, ISBN 3-8274-1669-8 .

Web links

  • Visuplant - diagnosis of nutritional disorders in crops