Nutrients and minerals are always in circulation in the ecosystem from living to non-living and vice-versa in a more or less circular pattern. Biogeochemical cycles present a pathway through which various substances involved in these nutrients and minerals, pass through biotic and abiotic components of the earth.
Importance of biogeochemical cycle:
- It allows the transfer of molecules from one locality to another.
- It enables the transformation of matter from one form to another.
- It facilitates the storage of elements. Elements are stored in their natural reservoir and released to organisms in small consumable amounts.
- In case of any imbalance, it helps the ecosystem to restore it. It may take a few days or a few years.
- It links biotic and abiotic elements of ecosystems.
Biogeochemical cycles are sometimes called nutrient cycles because they involve the transfer of compounds that provide support to living organisms. Two important components of the cycle are:
- Reservoir pool- atmosphere or rocks storing a large number of nutrients.
- Cycling pool- short storage of carbon in the form of plants and animals.
Elements transported by biogeochemical cycle have been categorised as:
- Microelements- The elements which are required in smaller quantities are referred to as microelements. For example, boron (used mainly by green plants), copper (used by some enzymes) and molybdenum (used by nitrogen-fixing bacteria).
- Macroelements- The elements which are required in larger amounts are referred to as macronutrients. For example, carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, phosphorus, sulphur.
Types of Biogeochemical Cycles:
- Gaseous cycles: Gaseous cycles include the transportation of matter through the atmosphere. Gaseous cycles are: Carbon cycle, Nitrogen cycle and Water Cycle
- Sedimentary cycles: Sedimentary cycles include transportation of matter through the ground to water means the lithosphere to the hydrosphere. Sedimentary cycles are the Phosphorus cycle and the sulphur cycle.
Complete detail of all biogeochemical cycles are as follows:
|Carbon Cycle||Click Here|
|Water Cycle||Click Here|
|Nitrogen Cycle||Click Here|
|Phosphorus Cycle||Click Here|
|Sulphur Cycle||Click Here|