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Geno weighed a young willow plant five years ago and planted it in a pot containing a known mass of soil. He watered the plant everyday with tap water. After five years, he weighed the willow tree and the soil again. He found that there was very little change in the mass of the soil but the willow tree had become three times heavier. Explain the increase in mass of the willow tree.

Biology
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this experiment is done to show that plant carry out photosynthesis to produce food
but can you explain the increase in mass directly, not the experiment? Even just the simplest explanation. I understand but not enough to note it down
this is about the history of detecting photosynthesis here might help u In the late 1600’s, a physician named Jan Baptista van Helmont wanted to know how plants increased in size. What was the food that they ate? He performed an experiment to determine where plants get their mass. He grew a willow tree and measured the amount of soil, the weight of the tree and the water he added. After five years the plant had gained about 164 pounds. Since the amount of soil was basically the same as it had been when he started his experiment, he deduced that the tree's weight gain had come from water. Since it had received nothing but water and the soil weighed practically the same as at the beginning, he argued that the increased weight of wood, bark and roots had been formed from water alone. • Then in 1772, Joseph Priestly demonstrated that green plants can replenish stale, or oxygen-poor, air so that it can again support a flame (a candle was extinguished in the “stale” air) and a living thing (a mouse, I believe, in this case). While a mouse in a closed system would die, one in a closed system with a plant would live. • Inspired by Priestly, Jan Ingenhousz showed that only the green parts of plants can revitalize stale air and that they do so only in the presence of sunlight. • Then that the increase in weight of a plant was due to both the intake of carbon dioxide (CO2 ) and of water • In 1845 it was proposed that plants take in light energy and convert it to chemical energy that is stored in compounds that make up more than 90% of all plant substance.

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Awesome, thanks

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