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Chapter 31: Communities and Ecosystems
Transcript of Chapter 31: Communities and Ecosystems
Review of Section
Chemical cycling is the natural process of recycling nutrients/chemicals that plants and animals need to stay alive and reproduce. Since earth doesn’t receive new “shipments” of these chemicals, they have to be cycled continuously from organisms to their nonliving environment and back. Without this process there would be no air, water, soil, food, and life.
Phosphorus is essential for plant growth.
Can most likely be found underground in soil and rocks.
Majority of mined phosphorus is used to make artificial fertilizers.
When too much phosphorus contained in fertilizer is washed into the ocean, it causes an increase in algae growth called an algae bloom.
Phosphate is incorporated into many molecules essential for life such as ATP, adenosine triphosphate, which is important in the storage and use of energy. It is also in the support of DNA and RNA which is involved with coding for genetics.
Nitrogen cycle consist of atoms that are constantly moving in a giant circle from the air, through the soil, into the bodies of plants and animals, and eventually back to the air.
All living things need nitrogen to develop and grow
Nitrogen is in the atmosphere as N2 (78%)
N2 is an inert gas and cannot be used by plants or animals
N2 can be converted to a usable form via
N-fixing plants and cyanobacteria
Industrial process (energy intensive)
Nitrogen limits plant growth
Nitrogen is easily lost from biological systems
Carbon is the skeleton of all life.
Carbon dioxide is a critical gas:
Taken up by plants in photosynthesis
Released by plants and animals in respiration
Released during decomposition (and fires)
Greenhouse gas (greenhouse effect - your car in the sun)