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The Cycling of Matter in Ecosystems
Transcript of The Cycling of Matter in Ecosystems
The water cycle is the continuous
of water between Earth's surface and its atmosphere. In this cycle, water
from one form to another. The
is the source of energy that drives the water cycle.
from the sun causes evaporation of water from Earth's surface.
is the process by which a liquid changes to a gas. When heated, surface water evaporates forming water
. The water vapor then becomes part of the
Cycling of Matter
The Earth constantly receives
from the sun. In contrast, the amount of
on Earth does not change. Matter is
from organisms to the environment and back again. Earth's ecosystems
, and water. These materials are all important to all
The Carbon Cycle
Carbon is found in every
organism. Carbon is also found in the
, in gasoline and many kinds of
. One common form of carbon is carbon
. Recall that CO2 is released into the air as a waste product of
such as plants use CO2 from the air to
. The carbon stored in organisms cannot be reused until the organisms are eaten or
. Bacteria and other decomposers
down dead organisms in a process called decomposition. CO2 is released into the
in this process. Carbon moves among the air, the ground, plants and animals in the
The Nitrogen Cycle
is found in many places on Earth and in many different forms. Most of Earth's nitrogen is in the
in the form of nitrogen gas. All living things use nitrogen to make materials such as
, but most organisms cannot use nitrogen
Another way water moves into the atmosphere involves
. During the process of transpiration, water vapor is
through tiny openings in plant leaves. The water vapor then joins the water found in the
. Animals also add water vapor to the atmosphere when they
out or when perspiration evaporates. Water also evaporates from
released by animals onto the ground.
I will illustrate the flow of energy within food webs including the cycling of matter (carbon, nitrogen and water).
Go back to your notes and review the image of a food web. Next, go back in the notes and view the carbon cycle image, nitrogen cycle image and water cycle image. Brainstorm how you could combine these four images into just one picture covers all this information. Use the sheet of paper provided by the teacher to sketch out your illustration then color and label your drawing. Go back and check to see if all 3 cycles are present in your drawing, as well as, the food web.
Review the cycles
Go to studyjams.scholastic.com
Click on Science, then ecosystems
Watch the video clips titled "Nitrogen Cycle", "Carbon Cycle" and the "Water Cycle". When finished view, the next activity slide.
The Cycling of Matter in Ecosystems
Combustion or Burning
is part of the carbon cycle. When wood or other
material burns it releases CO2. By burning
and oil, people put large amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere. Recall that coal and oil are
developed from the remains of plants and animals that died
of years ago.
from those organisms is stored in the fossil fuels. When fossil fuels are
, they release most of the carbon as CO2. Cars, buses, coal-burning power plants and oil furnaces all affect
carbon cycle. CO2 from burning fossil fuels is also thought to cause
A natural process converts nitrogen from the atmosphere into forms that are useful to a variety of organisms. This process is called nitrogen
. It produces compounds such as
and nitrates. Some bacteria perform nitrogen
can also cause this process to occur. Bacteria make nitrogen available to the
of plants. Animals get nitrogen by
Substances containing nitrogen can be found in animal
including urine. In this way,
return nitrogen to the soil for plants to use. When a plant or animal dies, the remains
and become part of the soil. The nitrogen in the remains is recycled and can also be
by plants. Human
also add nitrogen to the soil. Many fertilizers contain
when fertilizer is spread on the soil. The nitrogen content of the soil is
. There are several
that increase the amount of nitrogen in soil.
Other processes take nitrogen
of the soil. Denitrification takes nitrogen from nitrates and other compounds in the soil and releases it as nitrogen
. The nitrogen gas
to the atmosphere.
bacteria live deep in the soil and ocean floor where there is no free oxygen. They use nitrate compounds to get
for cellular respiration. They produce nitrogen gas as
. The bacteria
the nitrogen cycles.
Once in the atmosphere, water vapor rises and
then condensation occurs.
is the process by which a
changes to a
. Water vapor that evaporates into the atmosphere condenses to form droplets of
. The droplets
around tiny particles in the atmosphere, such as dust or smoke, an
When the droplets get
, they fall as precipitation. Precipitation is water that falls to Earth's surface in the form of rain, snow, sleet or hail. As
falls, several things can happen. The water can
on Earth's surface in a solid or liquid form. Water can also sink into soil or cracks in rocks where it collects and flows underground as