Difference between Micronutrients and Macronutrients – Comparison Table

Micronutrients vs macronutrients

Micronutrients vs Macronutrients
(Difference between Micronutrients and Macronutrients in Plants)

Nutrients are chemical substances required for the proper growth and functioning of all living organisms including plants and animals. The nutrients are also called essential elements because, in the absence of these chemicals, plants and animals cannot complete their life cycle. Important nutrients required by the plants for their proper growth are C, H, O, N, P, K, Cs, S, Mg, Fe, Mn, Cu, Zn, Mo, B, Cl and Ni. Except for C, H and O, all other nutrients are absorbed from soil as inorganic ions by the root cells.

Learn more: Mineral Absorption in Plants

In Plants, the nutrients are classified into two categories based on how much quantity they are required by the cells. They are (1) Micronutrients and (2) Macronutrients.

Micronutrients: These nutrients are required in very less amount when compared to macronutrients. Micronutrients of plants are Fe, Mn, Cu, Zn, Mo, B, Cl and Ni.

Macronutrients: These nutrients are required in relatively large amounts for the proper functions of the cells. C, H, O, N, P, K, Cs, S and Mg are the macronutrients of plants. Among these, C, H, and O are NOT absorbed from the soil by root. N, P and K are called Primary nutrients. Ca, S and Mg are called Secondary nutrients.

Mineral nutrients of plants

The present post discusses the differences between Micronutrients and Macronutrients

Difference between Micronutrients and Macronutrients

Sl. No.MicronutrientsMacronutrients
1Examples: Fe, Mn, Cu, Zn, Mo, B, Cl, and Ni.Examples: C, H, O, N,P, K, Ca, S, and Mg
2Micronutrients are required in minute quantities.Macronutrients are required in large quantities.
3Micronutrients are present in minute concentration inside the plant body.Macronutrients are present abundantly in the plant body.
4The concentration of micronutrients in plant cells is less than 1 mg/g / dry weight.The concentration of macronutrients in plant cells is more than 1 mg/g/dry weight.
5They are also called trace elementsAlso called as major elements
6Micronutrients are not further classified.Macronutrients are further classified into primary nutrients and secondary nutrients.
7All micronutrients are minerals.Majority of macronutrients are minerals, some are non-minerals (C, H and O).
8All micronutrients are absorbed through roots.Majority of micronutrients are absorbed through roots, some are not (C, H and O).
9Micronutrients do not have any role in building the body structures.Macronutrients are used for the building of body structures.
10Micronutrients do not have any role in maintaining the osmotic potential of the cells.Some macronutrients help to main the osmotic potential of the cells.
11Micronutrients are toxic if present excess in the cell than the required quantity.Macronutrients are usually not toxic to the cell if they are present in relatively higher concentration than the normal level.

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