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Cycling of Materials. Chapter 5 Section 2. Carbon Cycle. Carbon cycles between the atmosphere, land, water and organisms Short term part of cycle – producers, consumers and atmosphere Mostly by photosynthesis and respiration Long term part of cycle – carbonates, limestone, and fossil fuels

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Cycling of materials

Cycling of Materials

Chapter 5

Section 2


Carbon cycle
Carbon Cycle

  • Carbon cycles between the atmosphere, land, water and organisms

  • Short term part of cycle – producers, consumers and atmosphere

    • Mostly by photosynthesis and respiration

  • Long term part of cycle – carbonates, limestone, and fossil fuels

    • Formed underground over thousands of years

  • Human impact– increased carbon (CO2) in the atmosphere

    • Leads to global warming


Nitrogen cycle
Nitrogen Cycle

  • Nitrogen - used by all organisms to build proteins

  • 78% of the atmosphere is N2

    • Organisms can’t use nitrogen in this form

  • Nitrogen-fixing bacteria “fix” the nitrogen, converting it to forms that plants can use

    • Nitrogen fixing bacteria = NFB


  • NFB live in nodules on the roots of legumes

    • beans, peas, clover

  • Plants take in ‘N’ through their roots

    • Animals eat plants

    • Both plants and animals die

    • Decomposers break down wastes and return ‘N’ to soil

  • Nitrogen in soil can be returned as N2 to atmosphere by another type of bacteria


Phosphorus cycle
Phosphorus Cycle

  • Phosphorus cycles mainly between rocks and organisms in the environment

    • Very slow cycle

    • No atmospheric component because phosphorus is rarely a gas

  • Large amounts of P sink to bottom of ocean and build up in sediment

    • Becomes part of sedimentary rock


Human impact
Human Impact

  • Fertilizer has high amounts of ‘N’ and ‘P’

  • Used to increase plant growth

  • Excess fertilizer usage leads to increased ‘N’ and ‘P’ in runoff

    • In an aquatic ecosystem, causes algae bloom which leads to lack of oxygen in the water

    • Kills fish that need oxygen to breathe


Human impact cont
Human Impact (cont.)

  • ‘N’ in form of Nitric Oxide is released from burning wood, coal, & oil

  • Nitric Oxide is harmful gas, which combines with oxygen and water vapor

    • Forms Nitric Acid, which dissolves in rain and snow

  • Result – Acid Precipitation: rain, snow, sleet, fog

    • Kills organisms, changes pH of ecosystem


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