Concept

Biogeochemical cycle

Summary
A biogeochemical cycle, or more generally a cycle of matter, is the movement and transformation of chemical elements and compounds between living organisms, the atmosphere, and the Earth's crust. Major biogeochemical cycles include the carbon cycle, the nitrogen cycle and the water cycle. In each cycle, the chemical element or molecule is transformed and cycled by living organisms and through various geological forms and reservoirs, including the atmosphere, the soil and the oceans. It can be thought of as the pathway by which a chemical substance cycles (is turned over or moves through) the biotic compartment and the abiotic compartments of Earth. The biotic compartment is the biosphere and the abiotic compartments are the atmosphere, lithosphere and hydrosphere. For example, in the carbon cycle, atmospheric carbon dioxide is absorbed by plants through photosynthesis, which converts it into organic compounds that are used by organisms for energy and growth. Carbon is then released
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