Once they enter the organism, the molecules that contain phosphorus are degraded and incorp… - Plants can be consumed by herbivorous animals. (2017). This article was most recently revised and updated by, https://www.britannica.com/science/phosphorus-cycle, phosphorus cycle - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up). Encyclopaedia Britannica's editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by working on that content or via study for an advanced degree.... Phosphorus, which cycles primarily through the terrestrial and aquatic environments, is one of the most-important elements influencing the growth of plants. The most abundant source of phosphorus on the planet is: A. Black Friday Sale! Much of it, however, is deposited in the sea, in shallow sediments, where it circulates readily, or in ocean deeps, whence it wells up only occasionally. Phosphorus is essential for plant and animal growth, as well as the health of microbes inhabiting the soil, but is gradually depleted from the soil over time. Phosphorus cycle, circulation of phosphorus in various forms through nature. Some of it passes through freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems via plants, grazers, predators, and parasites, to be returned to those ecosystems by death and decay. Once in the soil, plants, fungi, and microorganisms are able to absorb phosphorus and grow. In addition, phosphorus can also be washed into the local water systems. Corrections? Of all the elements recycled in the biosphere, phosphorus is the scarcest and therefore the one most limiting in any given ecological system. These nutrients lack a volatile gaseous state. Soil B. Phosphorus is essential for plant and animal growth, as well as the health of microbes inhabiting the soil, but is gradually depleted from the soil over time. Omissions? The main biological function of phosphorus is that it is required for the formation of nucleotides, which comprise DNA and RNA molecules. Phosphorus cycle. The phosphorus cycle refers to the biogeochemical cycle by which phosphorous moves through the biosphere, hydrosphere, and lithosphere. Save 50% off a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content. “Phosphorus Cycle.”, Biologydictionary.net Editors. It is indispensable to life, being intimately involved in energy transfer and in the passage of genetic information in the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) of all cells. Weather events, such as rain and other sources of erosion, result in phosphorus being washed into the soil. Water C. Rocks formed from the Earth’s crust D. Algae blooms, 2. Insufficient phosphorus in the soil can result in a decreased crop yield. In the soil, the organic matter (e.g., plants and fungi) absorb the phosphorus to be used for various biological processes. Carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus are three … Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. “Phosphorus Cycle.” Biology Dictionary. Humans have had a significant impact on the phosphorus cycle due to a variety of human activities, such as the use of fertilizer, the distribution of food products, and artificial eutrophication. biosphere: The cycling of phosphorus and other essential nutrients. About. 1. Excess phosphorus caused by fertilizers leaching into water systems is dangerous because: A. Biology is brought to you with support from the. The phosphorus cycle is a biogeochemical cycle that deals with the movement of phosphorus in the form of different compounds through the Earth’s various systems like the biosphere, hydrosphere, and lithosphere. Biology is brought to you with support from the Amgen Foundation. It plays a critical role in cell development and is a key component of molecules that store energy, such as ATP (adenosine triphosphate), DNA and lipids (fats and oils).