Environmental Science: Phosphorus Cycle ( ( Problem: 1)phosphorus runs…
Environmental Science: Phosphorus Cycle
Phosphorus Cycle- the biogeochemical cycle that describes the movement of phosphorus through the lithosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere. Low concentration of phosphorus in soils reduces plant growth and slows soil microbial biomass.
The phosphorus cycle begins with rocks.
First of all, why do we need phosphorus? Well, phosphorus, if you recall, is one of the atoms that make up the molecule called “ATP” (adenosine triphosphate).
Even though phosphorus cycles through the environment there is no phosphorus in the atmosphere (it’s not the carbon cycle where there’s carbon dioxide in the atmosphere it’s not like the nitrogen cycle where there’s nitrogen in the atmosphere).
(a picture of mitochondria) and through the process of cellular respiration, the mitochondria will make this molecule adenosine triphosphate you can see there are peas for phosphorus in the diagram.
Another important molecule that requires phosphorus is “DNA” not just “DNA” but “RNAi” nucleic acids (picture of the double helix) if we look at the molecular structure of DNA remember that DNA is made from small parts called nucleotides and you can see the nucleotide is a sugar molecule nitrogen base.
And then a P, the P stands for a phosphate molecule the reason it’s called phosphate is there’s phosphorus in it and one nucleotide combined with another with another with another.
A third reason why phosphorus is really important in the animation, here we have a phospholipid bilayer basically we have the cell membrane of all of our cells.
Farmers adds a bunch of peas (peas= phosphorus) so the farmers adding phosphorus to their crops to the plants, so their fertilize the farm is fertilizing the crops.
DNA the genetic molecule of life requires phosphorus.
Stages of the phosphorus cycle:
-First stage - Phosphorus released from the weathering of rocks
-Second stage - Producers absorb phosphorus through their roots
-Third stage - Phosphorus moves up the food chain as animals eat producers
-Fourth stage - Decomposers obtain phosphorus as they feed on dead animals
default as fungus decomposers such as bacteria (phosphorus released in waste)
Human Contribution -
Fertilizers (contain phosphorus) added to help grow crops
Problem: 1)phosphorus runs off with rain into bodies of water
2) algal blooms= extreme growth of algae
3) eutrophication= dead zone due to lack of O2 and change in pH
Phospholipid phospho implies there’s phosphorus in the lipids that make up the cell membrane.
Unfortunately the phosphorus that’s accumulating won’t just stay there often the phosphorus is carried away with weather and rain
When it rains often the phosphorus is simply carried downstream or downriver or down the slope of the land
This is going to led to another problem this often cause what are called algal blooms= extreme growth of algae….
.. The water in the pond is turning green because of all the algae that is now being stimulated to grow from all the phosphorus
Phosphorus is a fertilizer it stimulates the growth of algae as well as stimulating the growth of crops
Why is this bad? It’s called Eutrophication off often and ultimately what happens to this little body of water it becomes a dead zone the algae is so dense and so thick it will often block sunlight to plants that live deeper in the water and they start to die.
Often the next step that happens is the algae themselves will begin to die and bacteria will feed on the dead remains of the algae..
...Well the bacteria are using all of the oxygen in the water to break down and decompose the algae that the water almost becomes action oxygen lists becomes void of oxygen because the bacteria are using it all, so therefore snails die, fish die, organisms other animals that live in this water begin to die because there’s no oxygen.
The extreme growth of algae often causes the pH of the rivers and the lakes to change and so that’s another reason why the lake can become a dead zone
The point is that the phosphorus cycles out of balance and human contributions are some of the reasons for that