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Environmental Issues

What is the importance of the nutrient cycle?


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July 09, 2015 10:55AM

Food nutrient cycle is a process by which nutrients are passed from living things to non-living things in a continuous cycle.

Nutrients are the chemicals needed by all living things and are continually cycled through ecosystems.

Examples: Water, Carbon, Nitrogen and Phosphorous.

Water - to drink

Carbon - plants absorb to created oxygen

Nitrogen - Plants gather it from the atmosphere (we can't use it in this form), the Nitrogen is converted into Nitrates which plants use and then released back into the atmosphere as nitrogen.

Phosphorous - absorbed by plants.
All of the life on earth revolves around a few key nutrients and in combination with energy form the sun it is theses nutrients which are required by all of earth's producers. These nutrients are essentially contained within a closed system on earth, which means no nutrients enter or leave the biosphere in large quantities. For this reason there is a limited amount of the essential nutrients available to the producers, so the available nutrients such as carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus must be recycled and reused by organisms. The recycling of these nutrients involves interactions between both the living organisms and the physical environment, so they are called biogeochemical cycles. These cycles are often considered to be "leaky" since nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus may be carried away in rain water to the deep ocean where it is removed from the cycle, other sources of nutrient loss include harvesting and burning of organic material. The following nutrient cycles are of utmost importance to all life and earth and are reported on thoroughly.

Nutrient Cycles:

· Water Cycle

· Carbon Cycle

· Nitrogen Cycle

· Phosphorus Cycle