How Does the Mango Tree Eat?

In a similar way that many plants and other organisms, such as the brown alga Fucus vesiculosus, get their nutrition, the mango tree undergoes photosynthesis. In this process, sunlight, carbon dioxide, and water are taken up by the plant and and altered chemically to form glucose and oxygen.  This method allows the mango tree to obtain the nutrients necessary for survival.  One of the byproducts, oxygen, is also essential for other organisms to survive.

In order for this detailed process to occur, certain structures need to be present!  For example, an organism such as the Tiger Salamander cannot undergo photosynthesis because it lacks chloroplasts, the key to photosynthesis.  Within the chloroplasts, photosynthesis can take place.  Once nutrients have been made via photosynthesis, they must be transported throughout the plant.  To complete this task, specialized structures have developed.  Xylem, which transports water, uses simple chemistry principles to move the water from the roots to the top of the plant.  In other words, plants utilize the concept that water will flow from a low solute concentration to a higher solute concentration.  As the leaves undergo transpiration and release water to the atmosphere, the solute concentration increases and water is literally pulled up from the roots to the leaves.  The water molecules are able to stick together due to cohesive forces.  Phloem, which distributes nutrients to the plant, utilizes a type of cell called sieve-tubes to move sugars from the source to the nutrient deprived region.  Typically, the source of such nutrients is the leaves, where chloroplasts are abundant and photosynthesis can occur!  If excess sugars are produced, they are stored within the plant as starch.



As the mango tree can produce its own nutrients, it does not need a host to survive.  However, many other organisms utilize the mango tree as a source for their own nutrition.  See interactions for more information about this topic!  Also, mangos rely on other organisms to help them reproduce or return home!