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Chemicals cycle in ecosystems. Concept 36.3. Basic pattern of chemical cycling. Three general steps Producers incorporate chemicals from the nonliving environment into organic compounds

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basic pattern of chemical cycling
Basic pattern of chemical cycling
  • Three general steps
    • Producers incorporate chemicals from the nonliving environment into organic compounds
    • Consumers feed on the producers, incorporating some of the chemicals into their own bodies and releasing some back to the environment in waste products
    • As organisms die, decomposers break them down, further supplying the soil, water and air with chemicals in inorganic form. The producers gain a renewed supply of raw materials for building organic matter and the cycles continue.
the nitrogen cycle
The Nitrogen Cycle

Form of N that producers can use

  • Nitrogen fixation
    • Process that converts the nitrogen gas to ammonia (NH3)
  • Nitrification
    • Process that converts ammonium to nitrates






Nitrogen Fixation


the water cycle
The Water Cycle
  • Transpiration
    • Evaporation from the plant’s leaves
    • Maple tree – could enter 200 liters back into the atmosphere!
carbon cycle impacts
Carbon Cycle Impacts
  • Deforestation
    • Clearing of forest for agriculture, lumber and other uses
    • Adds 20% of CO2 added to atmosphere
    • 80% is from worldwide burning of fossil fuels
greenhouse effect
Greenhouse Effect
  • Process by which atmospheric gases trap heat close to Earth’s surface and prevent it from escaping into space
  • Global Warming
    • Overall rise in Earth’s average temperature
nitrogen cycle impacts
Nitrogen Cycle Impacts
  • Eutrophication
    • Rapid growth of algae in bodies of water, due to high levels of nitrogen and often phosphate
  • Acid Rain
    • Precipitation that carries acid back to Earth’s surface
water cycle impacts
Water Cycle Impacts
  • Deforestation
  • Drawing water from river or aquifers for household use or crop irrigation
biological magnification
Biological Magnification
  • Process by which pollutants become more concentrated in successive trophic levels of a food web
ozone shield
Ozone Shield
  • Ozone – O3
  • Ozone layer – 17-25 kilometers above Earth
  • CFC’s – chlorofluorocarbons – banned in the 1980’s