Copper (Cu)

  • Copper is one of the 13 essential elements for plant growth, and is considered a micronutrient based on the concentration required for plant growth
  • principle form of uptake: ionic form (Cu2+)
  • amount required for healthy plant growth: 6 ppm, dry soil matter
  • soil conditions related to copper deficiency:
    • peat & muck soil
    • calcareous sands
    • leached acid soil
    • soils from low-copper parent material
  • acid soil that has excessive copper, along with manganese, zinc & nitrogen, is often deficient in iron
  • copper moves through soil primarily via diffusion
  • soil factors that affect copper uptake by plants:
    • available levels in soil
    • decomposition of organic matter
  • plant factors that affect copper uptake by plant:
    • hybrid or variety of plant
    • stage of growth
    • interactions with other elements

Roles of Copper in Plant Functions

  • enables electron transport in photosynthesis
  • constituent of plastocyanin
  • participates in protein and carbohydrate metabolism and in nitrogen (N2) fixation
  • is part of the O2 formation process
  • is involved in fatty acid desaturation and hydroxylation


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