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GEO 131 (6)
Chapter 5

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GEO 131
David Atkinson

GEO 131 Chapter 5 Textbook Notes Flows and Cycles of Nutrients Nutrients - NUTRIENTS are chemicals required the proper functioning of organisms - Two types: 1. inorganic chemicals required by autotrophic organisms for the use of photosynthetic reactions an metabolism 2. organic compounds ingested by heterotrophic organism - macronutrients are required by plants in large quantities - micronutrients are required by plants in small quantities - heterotrophs obtain nutrients they require by eating plants and/r other heterotrophs Nutrient Flows and Cycles - NUTRIENT CYCLING refers to the transfers, chemical transformations, and recycling of nutrients in ecosystems - NUTRIENT BUDGET is a quantitative estimate of the rates of input and output of nutrients to and from some designated ecosystem - WATERSHED a terrestrial basin from which water drains into a stream or a lake - COMPARTMENTS stores quantities of materials - FLUXES transfers of materials between compartments, rate functions measured in terms of mass per area per time ex. Kg/ha x y - 4 major components: atmosphere, rocks and soil, nutrients, and the organic compartment in which nutrients are present in living and dead matter - other fluxes in nutrient cycles include the biological uptake of nutrients from the atmosphere or form the available pool in soil - pg 51 A REPRESENTATIVE NUTRIENT CYCLE FIG 5.1 DIAGRAM The Soil Ecosystem - SOIL is a complex and variable mixture of garmented rock, organic matter, moisture, gases and living organisms that covers almost all of Earth’s terrestrial landscapes - Provides mechanical support for growing plants and trees - Stores supplies of water and critical nutrients for growing plants and other organisms - Parent materials were deposited as a result of glacial processes, often as complex mixture known as till which contains rock fragments of various sizes and mineralogies - Some parent materials as loess are derived from silts that were transported by the wind from other places - Leaching modifies the chemistry and mineralogy of both the surface and the deeper parts of the soil The Carbon Cycle - accounts for 45-60% of typical dry biomass - it is a critical nutrient for photosynthetic organisms such as plants which absorb gas through tiny pores in their foliage, fix it into organic matter and then use the fixed energy to support their respiration and to achieve growth and reproduction - all organisms release CO2 to the atmosphere as a waste product of their respiratory metabolism - most common emissio
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