Biogeochemical Cycles Tyler DiPalma

The Water Cycle

The water cycle is the transportation of water from the land to the sky in the form of solids, liquids, and gases. This occurs through evaporation where the sun heats the water which changes it into a gas. After this the water condenses and forms clouds which when filled they precipitate turning the gaseous cloud into a liquid again. From precipitation run-off water goes down the mountains and land back toward the ocean. Through run-off there is infiltration which brings water under the ground and to the plants. Once the water gets to plants and its leaves water comes off of the leaves causing it to go into the atmosphere then the cycle repeats itself.

Humans affect the water cycle through deforestation. When trees are cut down they stop the process of transpiration which occurs when water vapor is released into the atmosphere. Since transpiration is not occurring the atmosphere is very dry and unsafe. In addition to this by cutting the trees down the water is unable to be sucked up by the trees, plants, and their roots which means more run-off and in turn the land ends up dry and can lead to the sea level rising (Humans and the Water Cycle).

There are no chemical reactions in the Water Cycle

Inorganic: Water and rocks

Organic: Trees, Mountains (Grass)

The Carbon Cycle

The Carbon cycle first starts with respiration which is where carbon changes to carbon dioxide by animals breathing. After this occurs the producers which are the plants take in the carbon dioxide and create carbohydrates through photosynthesis which uses sunlight, carbon dioxide, and water. Once photosynthesis occurs oxygen is release (plant respiration). When animals die decomposers break down their body and the carbon in their bodies is release back into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide and go into the soil creating fossils and fossil fuels.

Humans impact the carbon cycle by excessive burning of fossil fuels. When the fossil fuels are being burnt carbon is being emitted from them as carbon dioxide. Since we are heavily reliant on fossil fuels there a lot of carbon dioxide that is being put into the atmosphere.

Chemical Reactions: Cellular Respiration: Glucose to Carbon Dioxide Photosynthesis: Carbon Dioxide to Oxygen

Inorganic: Carbon Dioxide, Water

Organic: Glucose, Plants, Animals

The Nitrogen Cycle

First during nitrogen fixation nitrogen gas and hydrogen gas mix making Ammonium. Through this organisms obtain nitrogen through the atmosphere. Nitrogen Uptake occurs when ammonium transfers back to organic nitrogen. Denitrification occurs when Nitrates and Nitrites decompose back into nitrogen gas. Finally Mineralization converts Organic Nitrogen into inorganic material for plants to use.

Humans affect the Nitrogen Cycle through fossil fuel combustion. When this occurs nitric oxides are released into the atmosphere creating acid rain and smog.

Chemical Reaction: Nitrogen Fixation, Nitrification, Denitrification: Where there's little to no oxygen in the soil bacteria changes Nitrates into Nitrogen gas.

Inorganic: Water, Nitrates, Nitrites, Ammonium

Organic: Animals, Tree roots (Plant consumers), Clay, Organic Residues, Nitrogen

The Phosphorus Cycle

First through precipitation and other types of weather rocks are broken down causing them to release the phosphate ions into the soil around them. After this plants can absorb the phosphate through their roots. Once in a plant or animal the phosphorus can attach to the DNA of them and when they break down the organic phosphorus is released back into the soil. When the organic phosphate is broken down by bacteria to create inorganic phosphate mineralization occurs.

Chemical Reactions: When animals eat food with phosphates in them such as plants. Rocks can form from an overload of phosphates.

Humans affect the Phosphorus cycle by adding fertilizer into the soil. Fertilizer is high in phosphorus which will increase the levels of phosphorus in the soil. This in turn can run-off with water into the oceans and sewage system unintentionally fertilizing algae and other plants in the ocean.

Inorganic: Rain/ Water, Weathered rock,

Organic: Animals, DNA, Plants/ Plant tissue, components of soil.

Sources/ Credits:

Created By
Tyler DiPalma


Created with images by James St. John - "Storr's Lake (San Salvador Island, Bahamas) 2" • Jan-Helge69 - "Red clouds" • Foto-Rabe - "industry sunrise clouds" • NASA Goddard Photo and Video - "Hubble Goes High Def to Revisit the Iconic 'Pillars of Creation'" • sierratds - "candle calls fire" • sadiehart - "giraffe"

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