The Cycles of Life

The World Just Keeps on Turning

Carbon Cycle

The Carbon Cycle is a series of processes which all of the carbon atoms in existence rotate. Plants absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and use it in photosynthesis. Animals eat the plants and use the carbon to survive and to rebuild . These animals return carbon dioxide into the air when they breathe, and when they die, since the carbon is returned to the soil during decomposition. The carbon atoms in soil may then be used in a new plant or small microorganisms.

Nitrogen Cycle

Some bacteria present in soil and in the roots of certain plants convert nitrogen into the form that can be used by plants. Animals get nitrogen in the form of proteins by eating plants or other plant eating animals.When plants and animals die, nitrogen is released back into the atmosphere.

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Phosphorus Cycle

When animals and plants die, phosphates return to the soils or oceans again during decay. After that, phosphorus will end up in sediments or rock formations again, remaining there for millions of years. Eventually, phosphorus is released again and the cycle starts over.


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