The mineral wheel illustration is a very useful visualization of the complexity of soil-mineral relationships first promoted by Mulder in 1953. It is a diagram showing how the levels of soluble/interactive minerals in the soil affect their uptake and utilization by plants.  Though complex, it is actually a simplified version of one of the many complex relationships between soil minerals.  The relationship pictured, though useful, understates the dynamism and complexity of the soil foodweb system.  Yes, the uptake of minerals is affected by the presence of other interacting minerals, but the relative total amount of minerals present in the root zone and their solubility is constantly changing.  These are some of the additional factors that change nutrient availability and uptake in the root zone:


Root Zone Size

Age of individual root hairs

Amount of minerals taken up by the plant

Rate of uptake of minerals

Any additions of minerals in the form of added fertilizer, etc.

Total microbe population

Type of microbes present

Diversity of microbes present

pH of the soil solution (can change with moisture, etc.)

etc. etc.




Understanding Minerals and the Soil

Information here about the relationship between minerals and the soil…


How Understanding the Mineral Wheel Help You

Information here about why the mineral wheel is important to farmers………….

Ag – Silver Al – Aluminum As – Arsenic Be – Beryllium Ca – Calcium Cd – Cadmium Cu – Copper Cl – Chlorine Co – Cobalt Cr – Chromium F – Fluorine Fe – Iron I – Iodine K – Potassium Li – Lithium Mg – Magnesium Mn – Manganese Mo – Molybdenum N – Nitrogen Na – Sodium P- Phosphorus S – Sulfur Se – Selenium Zn – Zinc