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Phosphorous Cycle

Phosphorous cycle is chemical cycle that aims at describing the movement of phosphorous through biosphere, hydrosphere and lithosphere. The most interesting thing is that atmosphere is argued to play the minor role in phosphorous movements, in contrast to other geochemical cycles. Researchers explain that phosphorous and its compounds are solid and, thus, they don’t depend on fluctuations in Earth temperatures and pressures. (Enger & Smith 2002) Phosphorus is one of the most important elements for all organisms because it plays significant role in structuring frameworks for holding RNA and DNA.

Further, phosphorus is important carrier of cellular energy; it is used for building proteins and strengthening the muscles. (Miller & Tyler 2001) The phosphorous cycle begins in the rocks (see picture). Via weathering phosphorus is removed from the rocks, and then it is distributed throughout the water and soils. Further, plants absorb ions of phosphates from the soil. When herbivores eat plants, they take phosphates from the soil, and when carnivores eat herbivores, they take phosphates from herbivores.

Finally, through excretion of urine phosphates move to the soil, where they are decomposed by bacteria and fungi, and then incorporated into sedimentary rocks. Sedimentary rocks are moved by geologic uplift into terrestrial environments and the phosphorous cycle starts again. Phosphorous cycle is faster in animals and plants than in rocks and soils. Moreover, phosphorous cycle differs from water and carbon cycles because it excludes the gas phase.

As far as phosphorous and its compounds are not gases, phosphorous cycles are not frequents in the atmosphere. Sedimentary rocks are the largest reservoirs of phosphorous. (Phosphorous Cycle 2008) References Enger, E. , D. , & Smith, Br. (2002). Environmental Science: A Study of interrelationships. USA: McGraw Hill. Miller,G. , & Tyler, Jr. (2001). Environmental Science. USA: Brooks/Cole Thompson Learning. Phosphorous Cycle. (2008). Retrieved December 20, 2008, from http://www. enviroliteracy. org/article. php/480. html

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