Magnesium has the power to impact many important processes including stomatal activity, photo assimilate movement, disease resistance and insect infestation, and overall plant growth and yield.
Quick Facts About Magnesium
- Magnesium is the central atom of the chlorophyll molecule and is essential for photosynthesis and cell respiration.
- Magnesium is a mobile nutrient, and it is easily translocated from older tissue to the growing parts of the plants .
- Magnesium plays a key role in Nitrogen, Phosphorus, carbohydrate, oil and energy reactions in the plant.
- Magnesium is a component of pectin, important for stability of cells and phytin.
- Form used by plants: Mg+2.
Role of Magnesium in Plants
- An activator of more enzymes than any other nutrient and plays key role in chlorophyll production.
- Improves utilization and mobility of Phosphorus and influences earliness and uniformity of maturity.
- Essential for synthesis and the transport and storage of important plant substances such as carbohydrates, proteins and fats.
- Involved in carbohydrate production and transportation.
- Involved in energy transfer and protein synthesis.
- Starts with interveinal chlorosis of older leaves.
- Necrosis and red discoloration of stems occur during prolonged periods of deficiency.
- Inadequate Magnesium will accentuate Phosphate deficiency.
- Leaf curling upwards along margins.
- Dropping foliage.
- Reduced root growth.
- Related to an imbalance of water, the entire plant looks wilted.
Factors Affecting Deficiencies
- At pH values <6, Magnesium is largely insoluble and therefore unavailable.
- Soils that are acidic and/or high in organic matter, highly leached soils with low CEC and calcareous soils are typically affected by Magnesium deficiency.
- Excess levels of other cations such as Potassium, Calcium and Nitrogen can further restrict Magnesium availability.
- Higher amounts of exchangeable Magnesium can limit Calcium availability.
- Low soil pH negatively affects the uptake of Magnesium by the plant.
- The uptake of Magnesium by the plant is negatively affected by large Potassium, Magnesium and Ca:Mg ratios . This means that even at high Magnesium concentrations in the soil can have latent or even severe deficiency of Magnesium in plants.
Nutrient Knowledge Guide
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