In the mid-seventeenth century, Dutch scientist Jan Baptista van Helmont struggled to understand where plants get the material that allows them to grow larger. He planted a willow tree of a given weight in a ﬁxed quantity of soil and then, ﬁve years later, weighed both the willow and the soil. He found that the tree had gained 164 pounds during the period but that the soil had lost very little weight. His conclusion was that the willow’s weight gain came solely from the water it absorbed through its roots. If you could be transported back to van Helmont’s time, what would you tell him about the source of the willow’s weight gain?
Your response should be at least 200 words in length. You are required to use at least your textbook as source material for your response. All sources used, including the textbook, must be referenced; paraphrased and quoted material must have accompanying citations.