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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[1] 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.[2][3] 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.[2][3]'

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).[2][3]

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.[5] Biochemical dynamics would also be related to the fields of geology and pedology (soil study).[6]

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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108 news items


Tue, 09 Feb 2016 07:00:00 -0800

The role of bacterial-based protist communities in aquatic and soil ecosystems and the carbon biogeochemical cycle, with emphasis on naked amoebae. Acta Protozool 51: 209–221. Bass D, Boenigk J. (2011). Everything is everywhere: a twenty-first century ...

Nature.com (subscription)

Nature.com (subscription)
Wed, 05 Oct 2011 10:05:30 -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.
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)

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 ...


Mon, 05 Oct 2015 12:00:41 -0700

The scientists argue that the cyanobacteria are key players in an important biogeochemical cycle, which they refer to as the short-term hydrocarbon cycle. The study suggests that the amount of hydrocarbons produced by cyanobacteria dwarfs the amount of ...

The Guardian

The Guardian
Thu, 08 Oct 2015 06:48:02 -0700

(6) The Biogeochemical Cycle proves that nitrogen levels in the atmosphere self regulate over time. As long as there is adequate ventilation in a town or city then the air quality will be fine. Of course certain cities suffer from terrible air ...

BMC Blogs Network (blog)

BMC Blogs Network (blog)
Thu, 05 Nov 2015 01:16:14 -0800

Professor Li Huang from Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences shared with the audience the important role of microbes in regulating the biogeochemical cycle of the most important elements, such as nitrogen, sulfur and phosphorus in the ...


Tue, 21 Jul 2015 06:52:30 -0700

Marine microbes have a pivotal role in the marine biogeochemical cycle of carbon, because they regulate the turnover of dissolved organic matter (DOM), one of the largest carbon reservoirs on Earth. Microbial communities and DOM are both highly diverse ...

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