Deutsch: Nährstoff / Español: Nutriente / Português: Nutriente / Français: Nutriment / Italiano: Nutriente /

A Nutrient is any substance, such as fertilizer, phosphorous, and nitrogen compounds, that enhances the growth of plants and animals.


Nutrients in the context of the environment refer to essential elements that living organisms need for growth, development, and overall health. These substances play a crucial role in various ecological processes, including the cycling of nutrients through the soil and water systems. Nutrients can come from both organic sources, such as decomposing plants and animals, as well as inorganic sources like minerals and chemicals. They are essential for the survival of all living organisms, from microscopic bacteria to large mammals. Imbalances in nutrient levels can lead to ecosystem disruptions and impact the overall health of the environment.

Application Areas

Treatment and Risks

  • Nutrient pollution from agricultural runoff
  • Eutrophication of lakes and rivers
  • Excessive use of fertilizers
  • Imbalance in soil nutrient levels
  • Impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem health


  • Nitrogen in soil promoting plant growth
  • Phosphorus causing algal blooms in water bodies
  • Iron supporting marine organisms in deep-sea ecosystems
  • Potassium aiding in the development of crop plants

Similar Concepts and Synonyms

  • Essential elements
  • Minerals
  • Nutrient cycle
  • Plant nutrients
  • Vitamins for plants



Nutrients are essential elements that living organisms require for various biological processes. They play a crucial role in maintaining the health and balance of ecosystems. However, imbalances in nutrient levels can lead to environmental issues such as eutrophication and biodiversity loss. Understanding nutrient cycling and management is vital for preserving the health of the environment.


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