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Gaseous Cycle of the Atmosphere

14-AUG-2015 18:48

    The Carbon Dioxide Cycle: In the presence of sunlight, plants take up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through their leaves. The plants combine carbon dioxide with water, which is absorbed by their roots from the soil. In the presence of sunlight they are able to form carbohydrates that contain carbon. This process is known as photosynthesis. Plants use this complex mechanism for their growth and development. In this process, plants release oxygen into the atmosphere on which animals depend for their respiration. Plants therefore help in regulating and monitoring the percentage of Oxygen and Carbon dioxide in the earth’s atmosphere.

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    The Oxygen Cycle: Oxygen is taken up by plants and animals from the air during respiration. The plants return oxygen to the atmosphere during photosynthesis. This links the Oxygen Cycle to the Carbon Cycle. Deforestation is likely to gradually reduce the oxygen levels in our atmosphere.

    The oxygen cycle is the biogeochemical cycle that describes the movement of oxygen within its three main reservoirs: the atmosphere (air), the total content of biological matter within the biosphere (the global sum of all ecosystems), and the lithosphere (Earth's crust). Failures in the oxygen cycle within the hydrosphere (the combined mass of water found on, under, and over the surface of planet Earth) can result in the development of hypoxic zones. The main driving factor of the oxygen cycle is photosynthesis, which is responsible for the modern Earth's atmosphere and life on earth.

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    The Nitrogen Cycle: Nitrogen fixing bacteria and fungi in soil gives nitrogen to plants, which absorb it as nitrates. The nitrates are a part of the plant’s metabolism, which help in forming new plant proteins. This is used by animals that feed on the plants. The nitrogen is then transferred to carnivorous animals when they feed on the herbivores. And finally through dead animals they are transferred to the soil with the help of Decomposers.

    The nitrogen cycle is the process by which nitrogen is converted between its various chemical forms. This transformation can be carried out through both biological and physical processes.

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    Important processes in the nitrogen cycle include fixation, Ammonification, nitrification, and Denitrification. The majority of Earth's atmosphere (78%) is nitrogen, making it the largest pool of nitrogen. However, atmospheric nitrogen has limited availability for biological use, leading to a scarcity of usable nitrogen in many types of ecosystems. The nitrogen cycle is of particular interest to ecologists because nitrogen availability can affect the rate of key ecosystem processes.

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