Campbell Biology (11th Edition)

Published by Pearson
ISBN 10: 0-13409-341-0
ISBN 13: 978-0-13409-341-3

Chapter 2 - 2.1 - Concept Check - Page 30: 2


Question: Is a trace element an essential element? Explain. Suggested Answer: Yes. Organisms require trace elements even though only very small quantities are needed.

Work Step by Step

A trace element is a chemical element present only in minute amounts in an organism (when relating to biology). An essential element is a chemical element that an organism needs in order to grow. Trace elements are necessary for producing enzymes and hormones. An example of this is iron, which is a necessary part of hemoglobin and myoglobin, responsible for transporting oxygen around the body. The average human will only have about 3 grams of iron in their body at any point, but without it they would die.
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