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A commonly cited example is the water cycle.

In Earth science, a biogeochemical cycle or substance turnover or cycling of substances is a pathway by which a chemical substance moves through both biotic (biosphere) and abiotic (lithosphere, atmosphere, and hydrosphere) compartments of Earth. A cycle is a series of change which comes back to the starting point and which can be repeated.[1][2] Water, for example, is always recycled through the water cycle, as shown in the diagram. The water undergoes evaporation, condensation, and precipitation, falling back to Earth. Elements, chemical compounds, and other forms of matter are passed from one organism to another and from one part of the biosphere to another through biogeochemical cycles.[1][2]'

The term "biogeochemical" tells us that biological, geological and chemical factors are all involved. The circulation of chemical nutrients like carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, phosphorus, calcium, and water etc. through the biological and physical world are known as biogeochemical cycles. In effect, the element is recycled, although in some cycles there may be places (called reservoirs) where the element is accumulated or held for a long period of time (such as an ocean or lake for water).[1][2]

Important cycles[edit]

The most well-known and important biogeochemical cycles, for example, include

There are many biogeochemical cycles that are currently being studied for the first time as climate change and human impacts are drastically changing the speed, intensity, and balance of these relatively unknown cycles. These newly studied biogeochemical cycles include

Biogeochemical cycles always involve hot equilibrium states: a balance in the cycling of the element between compartments. However, overall balance may involve compartments distributed on a global scale.

As biogeochemical cycles describe the movements of substances on the entire globe, the study of these is inherently multidiciplinary. The carbon cycle may be related to research in ecology and atmospheric sciences.[4] Biochemical dynamics would also be related to the fields of geology and pedology (soil study).[5]

Global biogeochemical cycles critical for life
Diagram of the nitrogen cycle
Diagram of the water cycle
Diagram of the carbon cycle
Diagram of the oxygen cycle
Diagram of the phosphorus cycle

See also[edit]


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biogeochemical_cycle — Please support Wikipedia.
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135 news items

Nature.com (subscription)
Wed, 05 Oct 2011 10:03:45 -0700

Excess phosphorus is polluting our environment while, ironically, mineable resources of this essential nutrient are limited. James Elser and Elena Bennett argue that recycling programmes are urgently needed.
Science Times
Tue, 18 Nov 2014 18:26:15 -0800

연구책임자인 덴마크의 리차드 보일(Richard Boyle) 박사는 생지화학순환(biogeochemical cycle)에서 동물의 역할을 평가하기 위해 수행한 컴퓨터 모델링 연구를 통해, 동물이 구멍을 파는 활동이 산소와 인 순환 사이의 안정화 작용을 통해 전 지구적으로 저장할 ...
Sat, 15 Oct 2011 06:18:26 -0700

In their commentary "The phosphorus cycle: a broken biogeochemical cycle" published in the Sept. 6 issue of Nature, the duo examine the lack of public and governmental discourse about the plight of the element phosphorus - and the potential social ...
National Science Foundation (press release)
Mon, 03 Aug 2009 23:23:57 -0700

A biogeochemical cycle is a pathway by which a chemical element, such as carbon, or compound, like water, moves through Earth's biosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere and lithosphere. In effect, the element is "recycled," although in some cycles the ...
Michigan Tech News
Fri, 27 Jun 2014 07:42:32 -0700

“Now humans fix as much nitrogen as all the bacteria in the world, which is just astounding to me,” says Gorman. “In just 100 years, we have become a very important part of this biogeochemical cycle.” Along with the introduction of pesticides, nitrogen ...

Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies

Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies
Mon, 20 Oct 2014 19:32:15 -0700

Our paper uses the case of the phosphorous biogeochemical cycle, which is one of Handoh's research specialties. The phosphorous biogeochemical cycle is a great example of a threat that has been analyzed as an environmental threat and a PB but not as a ...
Thu, 02 Oct 2014 15:07:30 -0700

In the present day, however, humankind's impact seems to be influencing the biogeochemical cycle (or "the infinitely minute facets of everything that happens on Earth"). This is almost solely portrayed as bad: "How dare we influence and change the ...

Christian Science Monitor

Christian Science Monitor
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 17:11:15 -0700

Indeed, they are a poorly understood part of the global biogeochemical cycle, she suggests. "About 10 percent of the Earth's terrestrial surface is covered by ice. We know very little about the chemical and biological activities that are going on in ...

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