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What are Biogeochemical Cycles?

The Water, Nitrogen and Phosphorous cycles are the most important biochemical cycles that affect the health of the ecosystem. In this article, we have discussed about the concept, types and importance of the biogeochemical cycles which will strengthen the knowledge of aspirants who are preparing for the examinations like UPSC, State Services, IBPS, SBI, SCC, and Railways.
Apr 4, 2019 17:22 IST
Biogeochemical Cycles

The energy, water and many other chemical elements are cycled in the ecosystem which influences the growth and reproduction system of the organism. The Water, Nitrogen and Phosphorous cycles are the most biochemical cycles that affect the health of the ecosystem.

What are Biogeochemical Cycles?

The Biogeochemical Cycles can be defined as the cyclic movement of chemical elements of biosphere between the organism and the environment. The term ‘Biogeochemical’ is a combination two words- Bio which refers to living organisms; geo refers to the rocks, soil, air and water on the earth and the earth and chemical means elements such as carbon, phosphorous, nitrogen etc.

Besides these elements, there are a number of other elements that play important role in the growth of the organisms. The growth nutrients are cycled or recycled repeatedly between the living and non-living components of the ecosystem. There are some distinguishing factors of the nutrient cycles as opposed to the energy flow such as:

1. Energy flow in an ecosystem involves living components only whereas both living and non-living organisms are involved in nutrient cycle.

2. Net amount of nutrient cycling through the biosphere remains constant.

How biochemical cycles stabilises the biosphere?

Types of Biogeochemical Cycles

There are two types of Biogeochemical Cycles:

1. Sedimentary Cycles: In this cycle, the essential elements of living matter are circulated. For Example- Sulphur Cycle, Phosphorus Cycle etc.

2. Gaseous Cycles: The main store houses of elements in these cycles are atmosphere and oceans. For Example- Carbon Cycle, Nitrogen Cycle etc.

Importance of Biogeochemical Cycles

Biogeochemical cycles plays important role in the survival of various organisms including humans. The importance of the biogeochemical cycles is given below:

1. It will transform the matter from one form to another which helps in the optimisation of matter in a form specific to particular organism. For Example- Water in liquid form utilize by the Human.

2. It facilitates the storage of the elements. For Example- the Nitrogen cycle help in the nitrogen fixation.

3. It will help in the functioning of ecosystem.

4. It connects different variants of the ecosystem such as living organism to other living organism, living organism to non-living organism.

5. It regulates the flow of substances through the cycles like sedimentary cycles and Gaseous cycles.

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