Category - Plant Nutrition
Calcium in Plants and Soil
Mobility and Uptake of Calcium by Plants
Calcium uptake by the plant is passive and does not require energy input. Calcium mobility in the plant takes places mainly in the xylem, together with water. Therefore calcium uptake is directly related to the plant transpiration rate.
Conditions of high humidity, cold and a low transpiration rates may result in calcium deficiency. Salinity buildup might also cause calcium deficiency because it decreases the water uptake by the plant.
Since calcium mobility in plants is limited, calcium deficiency will appear in younger leaves (die back or burns) and in fruits (blossom end rot, bitter pit), because they have a very low transpiration rate. Therefore, it is necessary to have a constant supply of calcium for continued growth.
Roles of Calcium in Plants
Calcium is an essential plant nutrient. It has many roles:
Factors Affecting the Availability of Calcium to Plants
Calcium forms insoluble compounds with other elements in soil, such as phosphorous. Calcium that is in the form of an insoluble compound is not available to plants.
Since calcium is a positively charged ion, it is adsorbed in the soil to the surface of clay and organic particles which are negatively charged.
Several factors in the soil analysis can help in assessing the availability of calcium to plants:
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