Sunday, August 5, 2018

Where Does a Tree Get Its Mass? - Petrosino, Mann, and Jenevein (2018)

Work on alternative conceptions of tree growth has extensively documented how students of nearly all developmental and educational levels share the “persistent intuitive conception ... that plants get their food from their environment, specifically from the soil; and that roots are the organs of feeding” (Driver et al. 2005, p. 30; Parker and Carr 1989). Soil acts as an anchor for the plant’s roots and provides the plant with water and small amounts of nutrients, but the soil itself is not the source of the carbon that adds mass to the organism. The mass of a tree, for example, is primarily carbon, which comes from carbon dioxide used during photosynthesis.

Petrosino, A. J., Mann, M. J. and Jenevein, S. (2018) Where does a tree get its mass?. The Science Scope. 41(9) 41-47. [acceptance rate32%]