Phosphorus Cycle

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Guano, Decay and Weathering

  • Guano is the faeces of sea birds and also fossilised bones and they contain phosphorus
  • Weathering and erosion of rocks gradually releases phosphorus as phosphate ions which are soluble in water
  • When plant materials and waste products decay they release phosphate and returned to the environment for reuse
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Phosphate, Ions and Faeces/Urine

  • Phosphate is used in many molecules and is essential to life and it is released from many different sources including decay and erosion of rocks
  • Faeces and Urine are sources of phosphate ions
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Saprobionts, Oceans and Soils

  • When weathering and erosion causes rocks to realese phosphate ions into the soil, plants then take up the phosphate ions from the soil and then the plants are eaten by animals
  • Phosphorus in soil can end up in the water and eventually the ocean and can be incorporated into sediment over time
  • Saprobiotic decay release ions which contain phosphorus 
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Phosphorous cycle

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