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Definition of micro and macro nutrients - SS2 Agriculture Lesson Note

Plant nutrients are essential elements that plants need to grow, develop, and complete their life cycle. These nutrients are classified into two main categories: macro nutrients and micro nutrients.


Macro Nutrients:

Nitrogen (N): Nitrogen is crucial for plant growth as it is a key component of amino acids, proteins, and chlorophyll. It helps plants produce new cells and aids in photosynthesis. Nitrogen deficiency can lead to stunted growth, yellowing of leaves (chlorosis), and reduced crop yields.


Phosphorus (P): Phosphorus is essential for energy transfer within the plant, promoting root development, and aiding in flower and fruit formation. A lack of phosphorus can result in poor root growth and dark green or purplish leaves.


Potassium (K): Potassium plays a vital role in water uptake, photosynthesis, and the activation of enzymes. It helps plants resist diseases and stress. Potassium deficiency can cause wilting, leaf browning, and reduced fruit quality.


Micro Nutrients:

Iron (Fe): Iron is necessary for the formation of chlorophyll and the production of energy during photosynthesis. Iron deficiency results in interveinal chlorosis, where the areas between the veins of leaves turn yellow while the veins remain green.


Zinc (Zn): Zinc is involved in enzyme activity, protein synthesis, and growth regulation. A lack of zinc leads to stunted growth, distorted leaves, and reduced flowering.


Copper (Cu): Copper is essential for various enzyme functions and lignin synthesis. Copper deficiency can cause wilting, yellowing of leaves, and reduced seed production.


Manganese (Mn): Manganese aids in photosynthesis, respiration, and nitrogen metabolism. A deficiency of manganese results in interveinal chlorosis, similar to iron deficiency.


Molybdenum (Mo): Molybdenum is necessary for nitrogen fixation in legume plants and other nitrogen-related processes. Molybdenum deficiency leads to yellowing and stunted growth.


Boron (B): Boron is essential for cell division, sugar transport, and the formation of cell walls. A lack of boron can cause brittle leaves, dieback of growing tips, and poor fruit development.


Chlorine (Cl): Chlorine is involved in photosynthesis and osmosis. Chlorine deficiency is rare but can lead to reduced growth and wilting.


In summary, macro nutrients are required in larger quantities by plants and include nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, while micro nutrients are needed in smaller amounts and include iron, zinc, copper, manganese, molybdenum, boron, and chlorine.

Deficiency symptoms vary but often manifest as changes in leaf color, growth patterns, and overall plant health. Proper nutrient management is essential for healthy plant growth and optimal crop production.


Recommended: Questions and Answers on Plant nutrients for SS2 Agriculture
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