What contributes to the mass of a plant?  

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Mass refers to how much matter is contained within an object. Matter takes up space and is composed of different elements. Mass is measured in kilograms. Weight can be the measurement used for mass, however, this depends on the gravitational pull on the object being measured and it would vary...

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Mass refers to how much matter is contained within an object. Matter takes up space and is composed of different elements. Mass is measured in kilograms. Weight can be the measurement used for mass, however, this depends on the gravitational pull on the object being measured and it would vary if the weight was measured on another planet with a different gravitational pull.

If one wishes to determine what makes up the mass of a plant, the matter within it needs to be analyzed to determine the elements that make up a plant.

The main chemical elements in all living matter are carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen which comprise 96% of their make up. The remaining 4% includes phosphorus, calcium, sulfur, and potassium, along with other trace elements found in very minute quantities.

Plants contain macromolecules such as proteins, lipids and carbohydrates (sugar, starch and the structural carbohydrate cellulose in their cell walls). Plants also contain nucleic acids like DNA and RNA and these are organic compounds made of atoms of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen. Plants also store large quantities of water in their central vacuoles within their cells. In fact, their cells are mainly water. Water is made of hydrogen and oxygen atoms. The water in plants makes up the largest contribution to its mass.

Therefore, the structural parts of plants contain the elements described as well as the large amount of water present in their cells. These atoms contribute to the mass of a plant.

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