HL 1 Biology

5.2a Carbon Cycle


  • are recycled within an ecosystem
  • are chemical elements: e.g. carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus
  • Basic pattern of nutrient cycles:
    • inorganic reserve of each element in the ecosystem
    • consumers obtain the element in organic form by feeding on autotrophs/other consumers
    • dead organic matter containing the element is released when organisms excrete waste material or they die

Carbon Cycle

  • important as life is based on carbon compounds
  • in marine/aquatic ecosystems: inorganic reserves of carbon is dissolved carbon dioxide & hydrogen carbonate (which is absorbed by produces + released back into the water)

Greenhouse Effect

  • in greenhouse : light enters & warms up the solid surfaces = warms the air
  • glass prevents heat from escaping + temp inside greenhouse rises
  • rise in temperature is known as the greenhouse effect
  • global warming effect
  • carbon dioxide, methane, and oxides of nitrogen: are the main gases (greenhouse gases) that contribute to global warming



Nutrient Cycle (p.185)

1) Trees and plants

2) Equatorial forest

3) It is different to grow crops in an area where equatorial forest has been cleared of its vegetation because the the nutrients are usually not stored in soil, but rather above the ground and also, the the nutrients are taken out of the soil when trees are removed from the ground.

4) Respiration

5) Most of the nitrogen in a tundra ecosystem is in the soil because the nutrients are in the permafrost and the tundra would need to be surrounded by the soil.

6) Warming due to the climate change might cause a release of CO2 from tundra soil because the detritus is stored in the permafrost and with the detritus is able to cause respiration when the permafrost is melted from the warming.

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