Carbon (C), Hydrogen (H), Oxygen (O), Nitrogen (N), Sulphur (S), Phosphorus (P), Potassium (K) , Calcium(Ca), Magnesium(Mg), Iron (Fe), Boron(B), Maganaese (Mn), Zinc(Zn), Copper (Cu), Molybdenum (Mo) and Chlorine (Cl) are required for the growth and development of plants. These elements are known as  essential elements. They are divided into two groups depending upon  their requirement.

a) Macroelements (Macronutrients or Major elements): Those element  which are required in large quantities  are called macronutrients. They are usually  participate  in body construction and are ten in number.

b) Microelements (Micronutrients or Minor element or Trace element): Those element which are required in small quantities are called microelement or trace element. They are usually participate in in various metabolisms and are six in number.

Microelements vs Macroelements

They occur in plants in very small amounts. They occur in plants in easily detectable quantities.
The concentration of a microelement is less than 1 mg/gm of dry matter. The concentration of a macroelement per gram of dry matter is at least 1 mg or 1000 microgram.
Microelements do not have such a role. They build up the plant body and different protoplasmic constituents.
Microelements, being found in traces only, have no significant role in the development of osmotic potential. Some macroelements accumulate in cell sp and take part in developing osmotic potential.
None of the microelements have any such function. Turgor movements are mostly caused by influx and efflux of potassium, a macroelement.
Microelement are toxic in slight excess. They do not become toxic in slight excess.
Microelements are : Zn, Mn, B, Cu, Mo, Cl, and Ni. Macroelements are: C, H, O, N, P, K, S, Mg, Fe and Ca.
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