Phosphorous Cycle. Miss. Pierre. Phosphorus is an essential nutrient for plants and animals in the form of ions PO 4 3- and HPO 4 2- . It is a part of DNA and RNA molecules, as well as the energy storage molecule (ATP and ADP) and of fats of cell membranes.
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Phosphorus is an essential nutrient for plants and animals in the form of ions PO43- and HPO42-. It is a part of DNA and RNA molecules, as well as the energy storage molecule (ATP and ADP) and of fats of cell membranes.
It is in these rocks where the phosphorus cycle begins. When it rains, phosphates are removed from the rocks (via weathering) and are distributed throughout both soils and water. Plants take up the phosphate ions from the soil. The phosphates then moves from plants to animals when herbivores eat plants and carnivores eat plants or herbivores. The phosphates absorbed by animal tissue through consumption eventually returns to the soil through the excretion of urine and feces, as well as from the final decomposition of plants and animals after death.
Phosphorus is most commonly found in rock formations and ocean sediments as phosphate salts. Phosphate salts that are released from rocks through weathering usually dissolve in soil water and will be absorbed by plants. Because the quantities of phosphorus in soil are generally small, it is often the limiting factor for plant growth. That is why humans often apply phosphate fertilizers on farmland.