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How does the type of soil, light, and water affect a plant?
Question Date: 2002-03-21
Answer 1:

The type of soil affects the nutrients that are available for the plant to use to grow. It's like the type of food you eat. You get your energy from carbohydrates and fats you eat (like gas for a car). Plants don't need this stuff - they make their own from light and air (there really is stuff in air, and plants breathe in more than you do. You use Oxygen. Plants breathe in Oxygen and Carbon-Dioxide). But you and plants need more than just energy to live. When your mom tells you to eat your vegetables for dinner - there are important vitamins and minerals in them that you need (chemicals your body uses to live, like parts for a car - wires and the engine and things) vitamins and minerals for plants are in the soil.

Light is energy that a plant uses to make carbohydrates from the carbon dioxide it breaths in from the air. The plant then can use the carbohydrates just like you do to eat and get energy to live. Think of carbohydrates as a way of catching the energy in light and keeping it to use later.

There is a lot of water in a plant - just like there is a lot of water in you. And it does the same thing in both you and the plant. Water is the soup that life occurs in - in your body, in each one of the cells that makes up your body. (ref: Osmosis Jones - see the movie). Water lets all those chemicals slosh around and work together. A plant needs lots of water to live (although some plants are Very good at holding on to what water they can get, like plants in the desert.) Just like you need lots of water. If you run around outside for a while, you may not get hungry right away, but you get thirsty pretty fast!

Answer 2:

This is a pretty broad question. Plants need the nutrients in soil, and light and water to live and grow. They also need air for the same reason. How do you think plants collect nutrients from the air? What do they collect from the air?

Answer 3:

Just as we do, plants need energy to grow and live. They get this energy from the nutrients in the soil. Water is needed since it carries the nutrients from the roots to the top of the plant. The nutrients undergo chemical reactions under the influence of the light. The richer the soil in nutrient the better of will the plant be. Here the action of the light is essential in breaking up the nutrients into chemicals the plant can use. These chemical reactions take place under the energy provided by the light.

Light is a form of energy also. As an example the sun light heats up your skin and can even burn it. This is due to the particles that form the light coming from the sun. These are called photons. These carry energy into the plant. I hope this helps your understanding about plants and their environment.

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