Element present in all organic molecules, it is the atom of biochemistry, of macro and microbial life. Carbon is found in nature alternating organic and inorganic forms and in different in appearance and formations such as mineral coal, diamonds (ore of greater hardness known), different carbonate salts, precipitates, solubles, forms of synthesis such as graphene, formation that offers the maximum electrical conductivity known by the scientific community.

For the purposes of nutrition and in relationship to plants, the presence of C is noteworthy:

  • In the atmosphere, in the form of CO2 gas. The plant kingdom especially differentiated from the animal kingdom by its ability to generate its own food can fix the atmospheric carbon obtained by breathing (atmospheric CO2) and with the energetic contribution of solar light (autotrophic mechanism). This Carbon fixed by the vegetable kingdom can be consumed by the animal kingdom (heterotrophic organisms) in order to grow and form their own organic matter. Thus carbohydrates and proteins are obtained, and O2 is released into the atmosphere, hence, in part, the importance of maintaining the plant surface of the planet in order to minimize the effect of GHG, high concentrations of atmospheric CO2.
  • Therefore, it can be said that carbon and its biochemical dynamics are responsible for the food pyramid, and for the dependence between all living organisms.

On the soil: in the form of CO2 gas, organic carbon and inorganic carbon. The importance of organic carbon (carbon existing in organic matter) and the physical and chemical properties it provides to the soil deserves special mention. With respect to the first (physical) decomposition of organic matter confers a better structure, i.e., formation and cohesion of the soil profile. It is also accompanied by a greater capacity for water retention and aeration.

These beneficial properties are related to the chemical consequences, insofar as the cation exchange capacity of the soil increases, the formation of complexes with different macro/micro elements, and the availability of nutrients in the plant’s root environment. It also contributes with organic matter as a prebiotic agent for a greater microbial dynamic, in many cases, with a clear positive impact on the process of nutrient release.

It can be said that the shape and distribution that the root makes in the soil obeys to an evolutionary adaptation in order to adapt to the soil’s structure, composition and concentration of nutrients, all of them conditioned by the C molecules, organic and inorganic. This is how the root system performs its main functions, in nutrition, water absorption and physical fixation to the environment.