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The Ecosphere is a completely sealed ecosystem containing active microorganisms. Simply provide it with indirect natural or artificial light and warmth and the ecosystem will thrive without needing further attention. The light allows the micro algae to produce oxygen and food for the shrimp, which in turn produce carbon dioxide and nutrients for the algae to grow.


Generalized BGC Cycle

The major parts of the biosphere are connected by the flow of chemical elements & compounds. In many of these cycles, the biota plays an important role. Matter from the Earth’s interior is released by volcanoes. The atmosphere exchanges some compounds & elements rapidly with the biota & oceans. Exchanges of matter between rocks, soils, & the oceans are generally slower.


Rhizobia (microbial bacteria) on the Root Hair of a Clover Plant: Mutualism

The Rhizobium nitrogen “fixer” makes threads that firmly attach to the root hair.

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Stop Here

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Work on the Nitrogen Cycle Handout


The figure below is an excellent example of the ability of wind to carry and deposit sediment.

Great Sand Dunes National Monument, Colorado. Sand accumulates in the San Luis Valley on the windward side of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, which lie in the background.


A rock in southern Iceland fragmented by freeze-thaw action.

Frost action occurs when water in cracks and joints of rocks freeze and expand.


Water Erosion

Example of the ability of rivers to cut downward into the rising landscapes; Downcutting of the San Juan River, Utah.


Think About It !What happens when you take a soda can from the refrigerator on a hot summer day? Can you explain what actually happens when the can “sweats”? What process in the hydrologic cycle is occurring on the surface of the can?

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Don’t Forget to…
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