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If weigh the water and soil you give a plant, does it weigh more as it grows?

If you grow a plant from seed, weighing the water you give it and the soil its in, does the resulting plant, soil and water weigh more? If so where does the extra mass come from?
Pete Coleman from Pembrokeshire (Age 45-54)


3 Responses

  1. A plant also takes in carbon dioxide so you need to add that weight to your system too. To measure the weights accurately you would need a closed system that also measured how much CO2 went in and O2 came out. As well as water vapour transpired. One would presume that if everything was closed and weighed accurately the totals before and after growth would be the same but it’s not a test I’ve ever done!

  2. Yes, it does; it uses energy from the sun to catalyse reactions that create sugars, and uses CO2 and O2 to form the basis of the sugars and carbs etc…. That energy and gas actually adds a little to its mass, even if everything else is completely controlled and weighed.

    If you COMPLETELY cut it off, weighing the air, and doing mass-energy conversions for its light absorption, you’d be able to see exactly where all its mass comes from.

  3. Hi Pamela and Rebeldreams
    Thanks for thinking about my question, I was struck by Rd’s point “..energy (and gas) actually adds a little to its mass..” does that mean energy from sunlight IS turned into vegetable mass?
    Best regards PeteC

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