Biogeochemical Cycles (Water and Carbon Cycles

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• In each Biogeochemical Cycle, a pathway forms when a substance enters living organisms such as trees from the atmosphere, water, or soil; stays for a time in the living organism.

• Substances cycle between a living reservoir (an organism that lives in an ecosystem) and a nonliving reservoir. • Examples:
– Water – Carbon – Nitrogen – Phosphorus

The Water Cycle is Driven by the Sun
• Water Cycle is divided into two general parts:
– Living – Nonliving

Nonliving Portion
• Water vapor from atmosphere condenses and falls to earth’s surface as rain or snow. • Some water seeps into ground (Groundwater) • Some returns to the atmosphere (Evaporation)

Living portion
• In Plants:
– Water is absorbed through the roots – Water then moves up through the plant and evaporates into the atmosphere (Transpiration)

• More than 75% of the moisture in thickly vegetated ecosystems (ex. Rainforest) pass through plants and transpire.

The Carbon Cycle is linked to Energy
• Carbon is used by living organisms to produce organic molecules. • Carbon returns to air and water in three ways:
– Respiration – Combustion – Erosion

Respiration
• Oxygen used to oxidize organic molecules during cellular respiration. • CO2 is the end product.

Combustion
• Also known as Burning. • Carbon can become trapped in wood or other formerly living organisms. • Heat and Pressure underground transform remains of organisms into fossil fuels. • The Carbon is released when the fossil fuels are burned.

Erosion
• Marine organisms use CO2 in water to make Calcium Carbonate shells. • Over long periods of time, these shells become limestone • As limestone erodes, carbon is released.

• We will now view a short video on these Biogeochemical Cycles.

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