Chemical Reactions Involved
Each phosphorus atom contains four oxygen atoms. This bond is called a phosphate which can join with other atoms to create compounds important and necessary to the life of organisms.
Phosphorus is found most abundantly in soil, sediment, and rock formations. it travels through different stages of its cycle in these inorganic reservoirs.
Phosphorus is found in almost all types of food. a phosphorus deficiency in humans is rare because of this. phosphorus plays a major role in the formation of bones and teeth. our bodies also use phosphorus to make proteins for the growth of our cell tissues.
Pathway of Movement
Phosphate is released from rock through rain and and other weather erosion. The phosphate is distributed into the ground and bodies of water. Plants then absorb the phosphate from the soil. Animals that eat plants will absorb phosphate through the plant. When the animals excrete the phosphate goes back into the soil and waterways. Bacteria then breaks it down into phosphates that plants can absorb again.
Impact of Human Intervention on the Cycle
The main impact humans have on the phosphate cycle is the use of fertilizer. Using fertilizer creates runoff with elevated levels of phosphate in it which causes and imbalance in the cycle. We use fertilizer to help plants grow healthier where phosphate levels are low.