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Nutrient Cycles

A description of how Water, Carbon, Nitrogen and Phosphorus cycle through our biosphere.
by

Tracey Sadoski

on 8 June 2013

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Transcript of Nutrient Cycles

Nutrient Cycles How Do Nutrients Move Through Our Biosphere? The Water Cycle Earth is a closed system, meaning that matter does not enter or leave. Water can also enter the atmosphere through transpiration Water is a major component of all living things. When the droplets become large enough, they fall to the ground in precipitation. Evaporation Precipitation runs off into bodies of water or seeps into the soil and makes its way into plants or animals. occurs when water
changes from a liquid
to a gas Nutrients move from one organism or location to another in cycles. We will focus on how water, phosphorus, nitrogen and carbon cycle through our biosphere. Rain Snow Sleet Hail All of the nutrients found on our planet have been here since the beginning and will remain here in some form. The Phosphorus Cycle Phosphorus does not enter the atmosphere, it cycles through
both aquatic and terrestrial systems. The Nitrogen Cycle Nitrogen is used by living things to make
amino acids, which make proteins. Nitrogen gas makes up 78% of the atmosphere, but nitrogen in that form is only usable by certain bacteria. It must be "fixed" to be used by producers. Nitrogen can be fixed by bacteria in the soil, by volcanic activity or by lightning. Nitrogen gas is 'fixed' when its bonds are broken so that the atoms can be used in other forms. Nitrogen also enters our biosphere through the creation and use of fertilizers, which contain nitrogen and nitrogen compounds and are added to crops. The Carbon Cycle "Carbon footprint" is a relatively new concept that enables individuals and corporations to evaluate the amount of fossil fuels consumed by their activities and the amount of carbon dioxide they are contributing to our atmosphere. Carbon Dioxide is found in our atmosphere and is produced by volcanoes, living organisms and human activity. Carbon Dioxide is consumed by photosynthetic organisms. Carbon is stored in all living things. When organisms decompose under pressure, fossil fuels are produced from the carbon atoms that once made up the organism. In the atmosphere, water vapor cools and condenses to form clouds. Phosphorus is important to living things because it
is a part of DNA and RNA. But it is not abundant in the
atmosphere. Animals eat plants that
contain phosphorus, using
some for needed molecules. Animals excrete phosphorus
or release it back to the soil
as they decompose. Plants absorb phosphorus from the soil. As rocks and sediment wear down, phosphorus washes
into rivers and streams where it is dissolved. Marine organisms process the phosphorus and
incorporate it into biological compounds. These organisms pass some phosphorus as waste
and release some as they decompose. Atmospheric Nitrogen must be 'fixed' to be usable Nitrogen gas is fixed as ammonia. Other soil bacteria
convert this into nitrates and nitrites that are usable by producers. Primary consumers eat producers and use
the nitrogen compounds to make new ones Secondary consumers fill their nitrogen needs by dining on primary consumers. soil bacteria break down organisms,
releasing nitrogen compounds to be
used again, or recreating nitrogen gas. Producers take up nitrogen
compounds from the soil Nitrogen gas produced by soil bacteria during decomposition is returned to the atmosphere. And last but not least, the cycle you are most likely to see in the headlines is.....
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