Cycles In Nature Matter is cycled through the environment. Now we will see how water, carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus cycle through the environment from abiotic to biotic factors.
The Water Cycle • Water is necessary for life. • Water moves between the Earth and the atmosphere by the processes of evaporation, transpiration, condensation and precipitation.
The Carbon Cycle • All living things contain carbon. • Autotrophs change CO2 into food that animals can eat (photosynthesis). • Plants and animals return carbon to the atmosphere during respiration. • Dead organic matter becomes fossil fuels that return carbon to the atmosphere when burned.
The Nitrogen Cycle • Nitrogen in the atmosphere is turned into a form that plants can use to grow and make protein. • Animals eat plant protein and make animal protein and waste products. • Dead plants, animals and waste products return nitrogen to soil. • Nitrogen in soil is released into atmosphere.
Phosphorus Cycle • Phosphorus makes up phosphates. Phosphates are contained in nucleotides, which are contained in ATP, and the nucleic acids DNA and RNA. Phosphorus is also found in bones, whose strength is derived from calcium phosphate, and in phospholipids (found in all biological membranes).
The Phosphorus Cycle • Plants get phosphorus from the soil. • Animals get phosphorus from eating plants. • Dead decaying animals return phosphorus to the soil. • Phosphorus is contained in rocks that can be weathered and returned to the cycle.