Phosphorus Cycle facts

Phosphorus Cycle facts

Phosphorus Cycle facts

  • Another important nutritional element that is part of a biogeochemical cycle is phosphorus.
  • Phosphorus exists almost in nature as phosphate.
  • The availability of phosphorus may determine whether plants and other organisms can grow in an area.
  • Phosphorus exists primarily as phosphate ions (P04³−) and undergoes very little change in its oxidation state.
  • This is cycled between soluble and insoluble forms.
  • The phosphorus cycle involves changes from soluble to insoluble forms and from organic to inorganic phosphate, in relation to pH.

For example: Phosphate in rocks can be solubilized by the acid produced by bacteria such as Thiobacillus.

Phosphorus Cycle

  • The other cycles, there is no volatile phosphorus containing product to return phosphorus to the atmosphere in the way carbon dioxide, nitrogen gas, and sulfur dioxide are returned.
  • Therefore, phosphorus tends to accumulate in the seas. It can be retrieved by mining the above-ground sediments of ancient seas, mostly as deposits of calcium phosphate.
  • Seabirds also mine phosphorus from the sea by eating phosphorus containing fish and depositing it as guano (bird droppings).
  • Certain small islands inhabited by such birds have long been mined for these deposits as a source of phosphorus for fertilizers.

Phosphorus Cycle facts


Sulphur cycle

Nitrogen Cycle

The Carbon Cycle


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