Chapter 7.2
How do the words pool, reservoir, source, and sink relate to each other?
A pool or reservoir is where nutrients are stored. A source is a pool that releases more nutrients then it takes in. A sink is a pool that takes in more nutrients then it releases.
Why is carbon important?
Carbon is important because it is a definitive component of organic molecules.
Define the biogeochemical cycle
the biogeochemical cycle is the way nutrients move through ecosystems
What role does photosynthesis play in the carbon cycle?
The role photosynthesis plays in the carbon cycle is that; producers pull carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere or surface water to use in the process of photosynthesis. Photosynthesis then breaks the bond in carbon dioxide and water to produce oxygen and carbohydrates.
What role does respiration play in the carbon cycle?
The role respiration plays in the carbon cycle is that once photosynthesis creates oxygen, autotrophs then use this oxygen and releases carbon back into the atmosphere and oceans.
How does carbon from the air end up in your muscle tissue?
Carbon from the air ends up in your muscle tissue because all organisms use carbon for structural growth, so a portion of the carbon becomes incorporated into the tissue.
How does carbon end up in fossil fuels? In sedimentary rock?
When organisms die there remains may settle in sediments in ocean basins or in freshwater wetlands. As the layers accumulate the older layers get buried and pressure increases over time. These conditions now convert the soft tissues into fossil fuels. The carbon from these soft tissues ends up in the fossil fuel. Carbon is found in sedimentary rocks because many shells and skeletons are compressed into the sedimentary rock.
How can carbon trapped in sedimentary rock and fossil fuels reenter the atmosphere?
Carbon trapped in sedimentary rock and fossil fuels can reenter the atmosphere by geological processes such as uplift, erosion, and volcanic eruptions. It also reenters the atmosphere when we extract and burn fossil fuels.
What is the largest carbon reservoir? The second largest?
The largest carbon reservoir is sedimentary rock. The second largest carbon reservoir is the world’s oceans.
State four ways that carbon can enter the atmosphere
Four ways carbon can enter the ocean are by being absorbed from the atmosphere, terrestrial runoff, undersea volcanoes, and from marine organism waste.
Are photosynthesis and respiration important to the carbon cycle to the ocean? If so, how?
Photosynthesis and respiration are important to the carbon cycle because they help release and absorb carbon in the atmosphere and oceans.
How is calcium carbonate formed and what is it used for in the oceans?
Calcium carbonate is formed when carbonate ions and bicarbonate ions combine with calcium atoms. In the oceans this calcium carbonate is used for creating new sedimentary rock.
What factors affect the rate at which oceans absorb and release carbon?
The factors that affect the rates at which oceans absorb and release carbon include temperature, and the number of marine organisms converting carbon dioxide into carbohydrates and carbonates.
Describe how humans are altering the carbon cycle
Humans are altering the carbon cycle by mining fossil fuel deposits, combusting fossil fuels for daily use, and cutting down forests and burning fields.
What is the “missing carbon sink”?
The “missing carbon sink” is thought to be the forests that contain a lot of the carbon.
How is phosphorus important for life?
Phosphorus is important for life because it is a key component of cell membranes and of several molecules vital for life including DNA, RNA, ATP, and ADP.
How does the phosphorus cycle differ from the carbon and nitrogen cycles?
The phosphorus cycle differs from the carbon and nitrogen cycle because it has no appreciable atmospheric component besides the transport of tiny amounts of wind blown dust and sea spray.
What is the largest phosphorus reservoir?
The largest phosphorus reservoir is within earth’s rocks.
Why is phosphorus a limiting nutrient in many ecosystems?
Phosphorus is a limiting nutrient in many ecosystems because it is very rare and hard to get out of the rocks where it exists.
What is the relationship between the food web and the phosphorus cycle?
The relation between the food web and the phosphorus cycle is that plants can only take in phosphorus in dissolved water. Primary consumers acquire it from plants and water and then pass it on to other consumers.
Describe how humans affect the phosphorus cycle
Humans affect the phosphorus cycle by mining rocks containing phosphorus to use in fertilizer. Phosphates run off into waterways and cause eutrophication.
How is nitrogen important to organisms?
Nitrogen is important to organisms because it is the essential ingredient in the proteins, DNA, and RNA that build our bodies. Nitrogen also is an essential nutrient for plant growth.
Can nitrogen enter the food web from the air? If so, how? If not, what has to happen for it to become part of organisms?
Nitrogen cannot enter the food web from the air without the assistance from lightning, highly specialized bacteria, or human intervention. For nitrogen to become part of organisms it must go through nitrogen fixation.
What does “fixing” nitrogen mean?
What fixing nitrogen means is that the nitrogen must be combined with hydrogen in nature to for ammonia.
Describe two ways nitrogen fixation occurs
Two ways nitrogen fixation occurs is. By the intense energy of lighting strikes, or when air in the top layer of soil comes in contact with particular types of nitrogen fixing bacteria.
Define nitrification
Nitrification is the process where ammonium ions are first converted into nitrite ions, then into nitrate ions. Plants then can now take up these ions.
Differentiate between nitrite and nitrate
Nitrite ions have two oxygen while nitrate ions have three oxygen.
What is the function of denitrifying bacteria?
The function of denitrifying bacteria is to covert nitrates in soil or water to gaseous nitrogen via a multiple step process.
Discuss how humans are altering the nitrogen cycle. Give special consideration to the Haber- Bosch process.
Humans are altering the nitrogen cycle in different ways. One way is the Haber-Bosch process, which was developed by Fritz Haber in WW1 to synthesize ammonia. Carl Bosch worked upon these methods and learned how to create ammonia on an industrial scale. This process by itself has lead to the doubling of the natural rate of nitrogen fixation. Humans also alter the nitrogen cycle by burning forests, fields and fossil fuels.
What negative impact does excess nitrogen have on other essential soil nutrients?
The negative impact that excess nitrogen has on the other essential soil nutrients is that it depletes nutrients such as calcium and potassium.
How is nitrogen related to smog?
Nitrogen is related to smog because the increased amount of atmospheric nitrogen causes more smog.
What affect does nitrogen have on soil pH?
The affect nitrogen has on the ph of soil is it makes the soil more acidic.
How can wetlands minimize the impact we have on the nitrogen cycle?
Wetlands can minimize the impact we have on the nitrogen cycle by absorbing a lot of this nitrogen.
List five actions suggested by the Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Research and Control Act of 1998.
Five actions suggested by the Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Research and Control Act of 1998 are to reduce nitrogen fertilizer use on midwestern farms, change the timing of fertilizer application to minimize rainy season runoff, to use alternative crops, manage nitrogen rich livestock manure more effectively, and to restore nitrogen absorbing wetlands in the Mississippi River basin.
In what ways does the hydrologic cycle interact with the other cycles?
The hydrologic cycle interacts with the other cycles because it carries the nutrients of all the other cycles.
What is the main reservoir in the hydrologic cycle?
The main reservoir in the water cycle is the ocean.
What percent of the planet’s water is in a form that we can use? Where is that water found?
We can use less than 1 percent of earth’s water. That water is found in glaciers, ground water, snowfields, ice caps, rain, evaporation, water vapor and surface fresh water.
What is the difference between evaporation and transpiration?
The difference between evaporation and transpiration is that evaporation is the conversion of a liquid to a gaseous form. Transpiration is the release of water vapor by plants through their leaves.
What is runoff and where does it go?
Runoff is water that isn’t absorbed by soil and it flows into the oceans and other major bodies of water.
What is an aquifer? How are aquifers important to the hydrologic cycle?
An aquifer is an underground river that holds ground water. They are important to the hydrologic cycle because the ground water that is absorbed is now moved out to the oceans.
What is the water table?
The water table is the upper limit of water held in an aquifer.
Describe four ways humans actions impact the hydrologic cycle
Four ways human actions impact the hydrologic cycle are by building dams, which increases evaporation and can cause water to seep into aquifers. Also by spreading water over agricultural fields we risk depleting lakes and other water sources. Humans are taking a lot of water from groundwater, which can cause water shortages over time. Lastly by emitting atmospheric pollutants, we are causing the precipitation to pull in these pollutants causing acid rain.
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