Trace Element

Definition - What does Trace Element mean?

A trace element is any chemical element that is present in minute amounts in an environment or ecosystem.

Although a plant's primary nutritional needs are mostly met through nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (NPK), they also require small amounts of other elements as well.

MaximumYield explains Trace Element

Trace elements are present in water and the soil as a natural benefit of previously decomposed organic matter. Commercial fertilizers also include these trace elements, although in very low concentrations.

Plants require a minute amount of magnesium, for example, to have strong stems, leaves, and vascular system. An organism's biochemical processes also require minute quantities of trace elements such as iron, zinc, and copper. Without these trace elements a plant may have yellowed leaves, weak stems, or produce very little fruit.

Trace elements can sometimes build up in the soil or water supply due to environmental pollutants, and can be a problem in urban gardens that are more exposed to these pollutants.

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