Phosphorus Cycle Essay

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Phosphorus Cycle The phosphorus cycle is the biogeochemical cycle that describes the movement of phosphorus through the lithosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere. Unlike many other biogeochemical cycles, the atmosphere does not play a significant role in the movement of phosphorus, because phosphorus and phosphorus-based compounds are usually solids at the typical ranges of temperature and pressure found on Earth. The production of phosphine gas occurs only in specialized, local conditions. Low phosphorus (chemical symbol, P) availability slows down microbial growth, which has been shown in studies of soil microbial biomass. Soil microorganisms act as sinks and sources of available P in the biogeochemical cycle.[1] Locally, transformations of PO4 are microbially driven; however, the major transfers in the global cycle of P are not driven by microbial reactions, but by tectonic movements in geologic time.[2] Further studies need to be performed for integrating different processes and factors related to gross phosphorus mineralization and microbial phosphorus turnover in general. Ecological function Phosphorus is an essential nutrient for plants and animals in the form of ions. Phosphorus is a limiting nutrient for aquatic organisms. Phosphorus forms parts of important life-sustaining molecules that are very common in the biosphere. Phosphorus does not enter the atmosphere, remaining mostly on land and in rock and soil minerals. Eighty percent of the mined phosphorus is used to make fertilizers, and a type of phosphorus such as dilute phosphoric acid is used in soft drinks. Phosphates may be effective in such ways but also causes pollution issues in lakes and streams. Enrichment of phosphate can lead to eutrophication of fresh and inshore marine waters, leading to algae bloom because of the excess nutrients. Bacteria consume the algae and a bacterial bloom ensues.
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