Calcium (Ca) is sometimes considered low key
nutrient, but it carries a heavy load in plant growth. Calcium
availability is adequate for most crops when soils are limed to properly
adjust soil acidity. Deficiencies of Ca are most likely to occur on acid,
sandy soils from which available Ca has been leached by rain or irrigation
water, and on strongly acid peat soil where total soil Ca is low.
soil sodium (Na) may depress plant uptake of Ca.
Functions of Calcium in Soil
In soil, calcium replaces hydrogen (H) ions from the surface of soil particles when limestone is added to reduce soil acidity. It is essential for microorganisms as they turn crop residues into organic matter, release nutrients, and improve soil aggregation and water holding capacity. Calcium helps enable nitrogen fixing bacteria that form nodules on the roots of leguminous plants to capture atmospheric nitrogen gas and convert into a form that plants can use.
Functions of Calcium in Plants
Calcium improves the absorption of other nutrients by roots and their translocation within the plant. It activates a number of plant growth-regulating enzyme systems, helps convert nitrate-nitrogen into forms needed for protein formation, is needed for cell wall formation and normal cell division, and contributes to improved disease resistance. Calcium, along with magnesium and potassium, helps to neutralize organic acids, which form during cell metabolism in plants. (Ca)
Calcium deficiencies can occur and they need to be avoided or corrected. Symptoms of deficiency include: