Biogeochemical cycles

Water, Carbon, Oxygen, Nitrogen, Sulfur, Phosphorus and Calcium Cycle

On the planet earth there are a series of processes and exchanges of energies between the different elements of nature that interact with living beings and the environment.

In this sense, we will address everything related to Biogeochemical Cycles, their concept, main characteristics, types and their importance for the continuity of life on planet earth.

Biogeochemical Cycles , are the movement or circulation of the main biological and geological elements such as water, sulfur, calcium, carbon, phosphorus, nitrogen and oxygen that are involved in a chemical change from the surrounding environment.

The main characteristics of the Biogeochemical Cycles are : natural recycling process with living and non-living beings, regulate the atmosphere, biosphere and hydrosphere, the energy flow and cycle of matter are present, different life forms intervene, make possible life on earth, the most important are water, oxygen, carbon and nitrogen, are altered by the unsustainable activities of the human being, can be gaseous, sedimentary and mixed.

Biogeochemical Cycles are mainly divided into:

Sedimentary: such as phosphorus, iron, calcium, and sulfur where nutrients circulate on the earth’s surface as a reservoir .

Soda: such as carbon, nitrogen, oxygen and water that circulate more quickly through the atmosphere and living organisms.

Hydrological: the water cycle itself that circulates through the earth, living beings, oceans and the atmosphere. Water evaporates in the oceans by the energy of the sun, condenses in the clouds and rushes back to the earth in the form of rain.

Mixed:  the combination of the above processes.

The main types or classes of most important biogeochemical cycles:

Hydrological or Water Cycle:  process in which water moves in the earth and the atmosphere in its different liquid, solid and gaseous states.

Carbon: vital element that is present in living beings, circulating through atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere and lithosphere.

Oxygen cycle: it is found in the nature of the following forms : oxygen gas, carbon dioxide and water. It is summarized in two processes: Slow or geological cycles of the earth as a hydrological cycle and rapid or biological cycles of living beings such as breathing or photosynthesis

Nitrogen Cycle: through the processes of fixation, ammonification, nitrification and denitrification by the different microorganisms bacteria, plants and animals.

Sulfur: nutrient and essential element present in all proteins.

Phosphorus Cycle:  sedimentary and mineral element that circulates through the lithosphere, hydrosphere and biosphere.

Calcium Cycle: mineral of sedimentary origin that circulates between living beings and their environment

Importance of Biogeochemical Cycles:

It translates into the following benefits:

  • They make life possible on the planet
  • They allow the circulation of matter between organisms and others.
  • Regulate the vital elements for the earth
  • They provide the necessary nutrients for life.
  • Regulate the planet’s climate
  • Its elements are used again and again by organisms

Definitely, that the Biogeochemical Cycles are the set of mechanisms, circuits, movements or displacements of materials or chemical substances from one place to another and achieving a recycling of nutrients in the biosphere, lithosphere, atmosphere and hydrosphere.

Biogeochemical Cycle: Natural process in which the different chemical elements circulate through the biotic and abiotic part of an ecosystem.

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