How can plants and trees take nourishment from the earth?


We always say that energy is a cycle where everything eventually goes back to the earth for plants to pick up. What exactly is it these plants are using as nourishment?

In: Biology

Not so much as nourishment but raw materials to make stuff. Plants make their own energy of course. The nourishment they get from the soil is part of a symbiotic relationship with fungi. The fungi are fed sugars by the plant and give things in return. The fungi gets stuff from decaying organic matter in the soil. they use some for themselves and give some to the plant’s root system. As an example, nitrogen is a critical thing that plants get from the soil along with water. Edit; bacteria are responsible for fixing nitrogen for plants

Mostly, what plants take from the soil is nitrogen. This is why farms need to rotate their crops and sometimes plant plants that put nitrogen back *into* the soil, to keep the soil fertile. Presumably they get other trace nutrients from the soil too, like how we need tiny amounts of iron, potasium, etc. Anything they don’t get from the air can only come from the soil, right?