Biogeochemical cycles

Biogeochemical cycles
• Chemical: CO2 and water are
necessary for photosynthesis,
nitrogen is found in proteins and
nucleic acids, while phosphorus is
found in ATP and nucleic acids.
• The chemicals circulate through
ecosystems in both living (biotic) and
nonliving (geological) components.

– Phosphorus • Exception: Water cycle because it exists in liquid. – Carbon – Nitrogen • Sedimentary cycle: the element is absorbed from the sediment by plant roots. and returned to the soil by decomposers (usually in the same area). passed to heterotrophs. gas and solid. .Types of cycles • Gaseous cycles: the element returns to and is withdrawn from the atmosphere as a gas.

is a never-ending.The Water Cycle • The water cycle. natural circulation of water through Earth’s systems. Copyright © McGraw-Hill Education . • During this cycle fresh water is distilled from salt water. condense into cloud droplets. also referred to as the hydrologic cycle. fall as precipitation back to Earth’s surface. and infiltrate the ground. • Water molecules move continuously through the water cycle following many pathways: they evaporate from a body of water or the surface of Earth.

.gas changes into a liquid. which act as nucleus.the water changes from a liquid state to a gaseous state. they fall to the earth as precipitation. Surface water may remain as standing water (lakes.. Water also evaporates from land and plants (transpiration). Droplets condense on tinier dust. salt or smoke particle. Copyright © McGraw-Hill Education Surface Water Movement .Steps: Evaporation.water that percolates into the ground. Precipitation.. ponds) or flowing water (rives and streams). When cloud particles become too heavy to remain suspended in the air. Infiltration.. The sun´s rays cause fresh water to evaporate and the salts are left behind. Water droplets grow as a result of additional condensation of water the water flowing downslope along Earth’s surface. Condensation. It results in groundwater or aquifers.-. Runof.


Soil composition • The physical and chemical composition of soil afects its water-holding capacity. The particle size that makes up a soil helps determine the pore space of the soil. Soil composition • Soil that has open surface pores allows water to infiltrate. Large grain size size Copyright © McGraw-Hill Education Fine grain size Mixed grain Surface Water Movement .Runof • A number of conditions determine whether water on Earth’s surface will infiltrate the ground or become runof.

Slope • Water from precipitation falling on slopes flows to areas of lower elevation. the water will become runof. The steeper the slope. the faster the water flows. Vegetation • Vegetation can slow the rate of runof of surface water.Runof Rate of precipitation • If the rate of precipitation exceeds the rate of infiltration. Raindrops are slowed when they strike the leaves of trees or blades of grass. Copyright © McGraw-Hill Education Surface Water Movement . and they trickle down slowly.

. the CO2 they give of becomes bicarbonate ion. animals and decomposers respire a portion of carbon is given back to the atmosphere as CO2.The Carbon Cycle In this cycle organisms exchange carbon dioxide with the atmosphere. • In aquatic ecosystems: CO2 + water = bicarbonate ion (HCO3-) a source of carbon for photosynthetic organisms when aquatic organisms respire. • In land: the plants take CO2 from the atmosphere and incorporate it into organic nutrients (food) when plants.

Before they decompose. oil and natural gas.. Calcium carbonate sediments are changed by geological forces into .dolomite limestone Reservoirs: a) Organic carbon in living and dead organisms. some remains are subjected to physical processes that transform them into coal.accumulates in limestone and calcium carbonate (CaCO3) shells of marine organisms. b) Inorganic carbonate.

due to the increase burning of wood. more CO2 is being deposited than is being removed. Other gases: nitric oxide and methane. fossil fuels and forests destruction. . So.Carbon dioxide and global warming • Atmospheric CO2: 1850 was 280 ppm and today it is 350 ppm.

Global warming as a result of the greenhouse efect Water vapour is a greenhouse gas. Earth temperature rises More clouds are formed More water evaporates . Clouds reradiate heat back to Earth.

Interesting facts about global warming Industrial Revolution Today 0.5 °C .5-4.6°C more 2100 1.

Glaciers will met. Galveston). .• • • • • Increase rainfall in coasts and drier conditions inland. Inundation and disappearance of cities (New York. Boston. The droughts will reduce agricultural yields and trees will die of. Ocean level will rise. Miami.

• Plants depend on bacteria to incorporate into them inorganic nitrogen into organic compounds. proteins and nucleic acids.Nitrogen cycle • Nitrogen is found in amino acids. .

Steps: 1) Nitrogen fixation.production of nitrates. Plants use NH4+ and nitrate (NO3-) from the soil to produce amino acids and nucleic acids.bacteria in water and in soil (nodules on the roots of legumes) convert nitrogen gas(N2) into ammonium (NH4+). Atmosphere Nitrogen gas (N2) In the soil Ammonium (NH4+) Cosmic radiation Nitrate Nitrite producing bacteria Nitrite (NO2-) Nitrate-producing bacteria Nitrate (NO3-) . 2) Nitrification.. This subcycle does not necessarily depend on nitrogen gas at all..

.convertion of nitrate back to nitrogen gas. . which enters the atmosphere. This process is done by denitrifying bacteria.Steps: 3) Denitrification.

Nitrogen and Air Pollution • Nitrogen oxides (NOx) from burning of fossil fuels and sulfur dioxide (SO2) are converted to acids when they combine with water vapour in the atmosphere. • Acid deposition consequences: – forests die – water cannot support normal fish populations – Agricultural yields are reduced – Marble. stonework corrosion . Acids return to the Earth. metal.

resulting in respiratory distress. video . headache and exhaustion. Whereas plants have leaves mottling and reduced growth. • Nitrogen oxides + hydrocarbons (HC) = smog.• Nitrogen oxides (NOx) and sulfur dioxide (SO2) + water vapour= acids. (From fossil fuel combustion paint solvents and pesticides) Breathing ozone afects the respiratory and nervous system.

and shells. bones. . They incorporate phosphate into teeth. RNA and ATP. Plants take up phosphate from the soil Decay and death of organisms make phosphate ions available for producers again. Animals eat producers and make DNA.Phosphorus cycle • Phosphorus moves from land and rocks to the ocean and viceversa.

. it is a sedimentary cycle. Plants take up phosphate from the soil Decay and death of organisms make phosphate ions available for producers again. RNA and ATP.Phosphorus cycle Phosphorus moves from land and rocks to the ocean and viceversa. It runs of into the aquatic ecosystem. and shells. Animals eat producers and make DNA. and algae acquire it. They incorporate phosphate into teeth. bones. Phosphorus does not enter the atmosphere.

then when algae die of Decomposers use up all the available oxyge Massive fish kill . livestock feedlots and discharge from sewage treatment plants lead to eutrophication (over enrichment of waterways). Eutrophication Algae bloom.Phosphorus and water pollution Boost of phosphate due to fertilizers and detergent production.