Factors affecting plant growth: internal and external (2023)

The most important factors affecting plant growth are water, light, temperature, humidity and nutrients. However, there are a number of other internal and external factors that also have a significant impact on the entire development process.

These factors are broken down into internal and external factors to make it easier to delineate how they actually intervene in the process. They are divided into biotic, abiotic, hormonal and genetic.

Each of them contributes in different ways to the composition of plants and their development, which we will explain in detail in the following paragraphs. In the meantime, we must add that it is important for plants to have access to most of these factors in order to grow healthily and carry out each of their physiological and morphological processes.

Because there is environmental stress, plants often suffer from environmental stress, even though they can adapt to specific environments and respond to specific stimuli. which can affect their health, slow their growth or cause their death.

This tells us that as soon as the seed is sown, its cells begin to react to the stimuli it receives from the environment in which it is located, and can grow quickly or slowly, depending on them. Therefore, knowing those factors that directly or indirectly affect their growth will solve all problems that may arise in plant production.

The main factors affecting plant growth are external

By factors that influence the growth of plants, we usually mean factors that are in the (external) environment and that they absorb in order to grow, develop and produce flowering.

Among them, the most common and well-known are light (from the sun if it is natural light).Surroundings), temperature, humidity, water and nutrients. However, there are other factors that affect their growth, depending on what percentage they can get from them.

Knowing this allows us to be a little more precise in classifying external factors that affect plant growth; Because in addition to the above, plants also develop through the action of abiotic and biotic factors.

Factors affecting plant growth: internal and external (1)

In this case, abiotic factors are directly those found in the environment and involved in plant growth; while biotics refer to those also found in the environment and factors associated with or interacting with plants to contribute to (or harm) them in certain processes.

Each of them is classified as follows:

abiotic factors

In short, abiotic factors are those non-living components of the environment that in one way or another affect the growth and development of all plants. Therefore, in addition to what is commonly known (light, water, temperature, nutrients and humidity), we find the following:

  • Topography or land characteristics
  • This factor is particularly related to the nature or layout of the property. In particular, it can affect the growth of plants, since a certain altitude causes a certain temperature and allows a certain amount of water to circulate. Even if the terrain is mountainous, flat or hilly, the natural conditions that characterize it may allow certain plant species to grow and others not.

  • floors
  • Soil is the surface on which most plants grow and from which they get most of their nutrients through their roots. So, depending on the physical, biological and chemical properties of the individual soil, the development of individual plants becomes possible.

    On the other hand, there are thousands of living organisms in the soil; such as fungi, bacteria, protozoa, algae, among others; which in some way (through their survival characteristics) cultivate the soil and enable the presence of nutrients or the penetration of water.

    On the other hand, abiotic factors, which we usually call "Environment", affect the growth of plants in the following way:

    • light:It is one of the factors that influence the growth of plants, and it is of greater weight and importance because it intervenes in the process of growth, reproduction and differentiation of their organs.
    • Water:Water, together with light, intervenes in the process of photosynthesis in plants. It enters the body through the soil and finally leaves it through evaporation. It is just as important as light because it interferes with a large part of the process of plant growth and development; And just like other factors, it binds to them in the right amount, because when added in excess or in smaller amounts, it can have a profound effect on plant health.
    • Temperature:Since a seed is a seed, temperature has been one of the main factors involved in plant development and growth. More precisely, it intervenes in the metabolism of these and cellular processes that take place during the process of their growth. Therefore, temperature variations affect their growth from seed formation to reproduction; Each plant species needs a certain temperature in a certain phase of its growth.
    • nutrient: Plants achieve optimal growth thanks to a set of factors that influence their growth; Among them, the nutrients and minerals they absorb from the soil, air and water are precisely responsible for the various internal processes they undergo to develop, for example electron transfer, enzyme activity and cell membrane permeability, among others. If plants don't get nutrients, their growth just slows down.

    As we can understand, each of themFactors affecting plant growthintervenes in their developmental stages in a relevant way. Well, if any of these are missing, the results in terms of plant health and durability will be altered or delayed. By considering each of them and knowing exactly how they are affected, we can also know how to deploy them in artificial environments such as greenhouses.

    biotic factors

    Factors affecting plant growth that we consider "biotic factors" refer to those organisms or elements that interact with and are associated with plants to produce benefit or harm. These are:

  • reciprocity
  • Mutualism is a factor where interaction between species has been shown to bring certain benefits. For example, insects and birds are pollinators that, feeding on the nectar of flowering plants, transfer pollen to them and help the future growth of fruits.

  • we parasitize
  • Parasitism also consists of an interaction between two agents; but in this case it turns out to be a negative relationship. Parasites are organisms that benefit from the harm they cause to others, so some crops suffer losses from diseased plants.

    Factors affecting plant growth: internal and external (2)

  • herbivores
  • This refers to animals that, as herbivores (that is, those that feed on certain parts of plants), damage plants to varying degrees. For example, flowering is prevented, the stem is reduced, the leaves are eaten or the plant dies completely.

    Genetic factors in plant growth

    Like humans, plants are made up of genes that define their traits. That's why there are plants of different types, sizes and textures that, being seeds, look different.

    Factors affecting plant growth: internal and external (3)

    For this reason, we say that the (internal) factors that influence plant growth are specifically genetic; And they contain information about the shape the plant will have, the way it grows (which conditions it needs for development) and how it differs from other plants.

    In this way, the genes - which we find in plant cells - provide them with cellular diversity that enables, for example, the synthesis of proteins (and other specific enzymes) or the implementation and catalyzing of various biochemical processes that enable the process of their development.

    Hormonal factors involved in plant growth

    We mentioned that all the factors that influence the growth of plants are responsible for different tasks that enable their development. Of the hormonal factors, only these are responsible for the distribution and regulation of plant growth by selecting the necessary elements and their quantity.

    In other words, they regulate the amount of water, nutrients, temperature, humidity and light that plants receive and distribute these amounts through their organs to enable internal plant processes, such as: B. Cell enlargement, tropic growth, cell division and other external elements such as sowing, flowering and fruiting.

    Factors affecting plant growth: internal and external (4)

    Also the fact that they are regulated plant growth,It also intervenes in growth inhibition processes, where hormones are responsible for controlling the size of plants, their leaves and fruits.

    They are even partly responsible for the health of plants, since they are the ones that determine their response to wounds or stress they may suffer from substances or organisms in the environment.

    It is important to know the factors that affect plant growth

    In this way, we can say that a complete knowledge of the factors that affect the growth of plants (beyond the usual ones) will provide us with relevant knowledge about their growth and the way they affect it, which will then allow us to create suitable environments for them, in which each of these factors can be controlled manually.

    Finally, building a greenhouse allows us to make better use of plant growth because by controlling the temperature, humidity, light and amount of water, there are no climate changes, nor external organisms harmful to our plants.

    Therefore, it will also be possible to acquire knowledge about the necessary equipment that will enable the construction of this environment by sowing in a shorter time and resulting in healthier plants.

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