Phosphorus Cycle

Phosphorus is an important element used by all living things because it is found in all genetic materials.  The phosphorus cycle only takes place on the ground level and does involve the atmosphere.   Therefore, in the phosphorus cycle, you find phosphorus transferring between soil, water, and organisms without going into the air.

20070527b phosphorus cycle
(Click to Enlarge)

Explanations for Vocabularies:

  • Excretion: Excretion is the act of an organism getting rid of wastes (feces, urine…etc.)
  • Decomposition: This process is done mostly by bacteria and fungi, and it breaks a dead organism’s body down into smaller molecules.
  • Geologic Uplifting: It is the process that raises landmasses up above the sea level, and it is caused by geologic activities such as volcanic eruptions.
  • Sedimentation: It describes the process in which substances settle to the bottom of a body of water.
  • Seepage: It describes water seeping through the soil and washing soil-bound substances into a body of water.
  • Weathering: It is a process in which water or wind breaks down rocks into small pieces and add them to the soil.

Next Generation Science Standards:

MS-LS2-1. Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence for the effects of resource availability on organisms and populations of organisms in an ecosystem.

MS-LS2-2. Construct an explanation that predicts patterns of interactions among organisms across multiple ecosystems.

MS-LS2-3. Develop a model to describe the cycling of matter and flow of energy among living and nonliving parts of an ecosystem.

MS-LS2-4. Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations.

HS-LS1-5. Use a model to illustrate how photosynthesis transforms light energy into stored chemical energy.

HS-LS1-6. Construct and revise an explanation based on evidence for how carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen from sugar molecules may combine with other elements to form amino acids and/or other large carbon-based molecules.

HS-LS2-3. Construct and revise an explanation based on evidence for the cycling of matter and flow of energy in aerobic and anaerobic conditions.

HS-LS2-4. Use mathematical representations to support claims for the cycling of matter and flow of energy among organisms in an ecosystem.

HS-LS2-5. Develop a model to illustrate the role of photosynthesis and cellular respiration in the cycling of carbon among the biosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, and geosphere.

What Science Does this Comic Teach?

Unit: Anatomy and Phsiology

⇒Chapter: Cycles of Matter

⇒Topic: Nitrogen Cycle

Additional Information


It means a “living thing”…  Whether it is big (such as a dog) or small (such as a bacterium), all living things are called “organisms”.

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