Biogeochemical Cycles

Friday, July 2, 2021

Unlike energy that is lost as heat, the six most common elements in organic molecules—carbon, nitrogen, hydrogen, oxygen, phosphorus, and sulfur are conserved in biogeochemical cycles.  


Geologic processes—such as weathering of rocks, erosion, water drainage, and the subduction of continental plates—all play a role in this recycling of matter, as do interactions among organisms, and chemical processes.


The way in which an element—or, in some cases, a compound such as water—moves between living factors also called biotic factors and nonliving factors also called abiotic factors is called a biogeochemical cycle. This name reflects the importance of chemistry and geology as well as biology in helping us understand these cycles.


biogeochemical cycles


Which biogeochemical cycles are key to life?


Up first is water. All oxygen-dependent organisms need water to aid in the respiration process. Water also helps many organisms regulate metabolism and dissolves compounds going into or out of the body. In other words, No water equals no life


You can remember the elements that have biogeochemical cycles using CHNOPS

Carbon, Hydrogen, Nitrogen, Oxygen, Phosphorus, Sulfur.


biogeochemical cycle


Carbon is found in all organic macromolecules It is the building block of life. carbon is so important to live because virtually all molecules in the body contain carbon. 


Hydrogen is an element that is present in all the fluids of the human body which allows the toxins and waste to be transported and eliminated. It is also a building block of water which is essential for life.


Nitrogen is needed to build our amino acids and proteins. 


Oxygen is vital for cellular respiration, During cellular respiration, glucose reacts with oxygen, forming ATP that can be used by the cell.


Phosphorus is a key component of D, N, A, and RNA.


Sulfur is key to protein structure and is released into the atmosphere by the burning of fossil fuels.


Though each element or compound takes its own route, all of these key chemical nutrients cycle through the biosphere, moving between the biotic—living—and abiotic—nonliving—worlds and from one living organism to another.


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