How do chemical reactions involving soil minerals play a crucial role in controlling the availability of essential plant nutrients?
All plants require 17 elements to complete their life cycle, and an additional four elements have been identified as essential for some plants (Havlin et al. 2005). With the exception of C, H, and O, which plants obtain from air and water, plants derive the remaining 14 elements from the soil or through fertilizers, manures, and amendments (Parikh & James 2012). The bulk of the soil solid fraction is constituted by soil minerals, which exert significant direct and indirect influences on the supply and availability of most nutrient elements. The main processes involved in the release and fixation of nutrient elements in soils include dissolution-precipitation and adsorption-desorption. We will discuss these processes and how they impact macronutrients and micronutrients.