MATERIAL CYCLING
 IN ECOSYSTEMS
  Lecture 3 NS5 1st 2010-2011
THE CYCLING OF MATERIALS
     IN THE ENVIRONMENT
• LAW OF ECOLOGY #2:
 EVERYTHING MUST GO
 SOMEWHERE
• LAW OF
 THERMODYNAM...
BIOGEOCHEMICAL CYCLING
•   The movement of elements and compounds that
    are essential to life

•   Materials are transp...
BASIC TYPES OF CYCLES
•   Gaseous type – the reservoir is the
    atmosphere and/or hydrosphere (e.g. N2,
    CO2, O2)

• ...
WHEN THE PROBLEMS
               COME IN
•   Errors in Nutrient Cycling

    •   A’  A’’  A’’’’  A’

•   Pollution – ac...
INTRODUCING
THE CYCLES OF
   NATURE
BIOGEOCHEMICAL CYCLES
THE HYDROLOGIC CYCLE OR
      WATER CYCLE




       !"#$%&'"(&)*+),-./.012)345678)9$(:;$)   <=)
PURPOSE: Mediates Nutrient Cycle and
    A Major Energy Dissipation Pathway
  • IMPACTS OF HUMAN
      INTRUSION

     •  ...
•
          OXYGEN CYCLE
    Type: Gaseous (21%)

•   Major Reservoir: Atmosphere

•   Forms: Free and Molecular Oxygen

•...
IMPACTS OF HUMAN
                   INTRUSION
•   CFC’s (chlorofluorocarbons)
    deplete ozone layer “ozone hole”

•   Eut...
CARBON CYCLE
•   Type: Gaseous Cycle

•   Major Reservoir : Atmosphere but also calcium carbonate in shells and limestone,...
The global carbon cycle includes the earth's atmosphere, oceans,
                vegetation, soils and fossil fuels
CARBON RESERVOIRS
CONTROVERSIAL ISSUES ASSOCIATED
     WITH CARBON CYCLE
NITROGEN CYCLE
•   Type: Gaseous Cycle

•   Major reservoir – ATMOSPHERE

•   Importance – Essential for many
    biologic...
IMPACTS OF HUMAN
                        INTRUSION
•   USE OF NITROGEN FERTILIZERS                        •   NITROGEN OXI...
PHOSPHORUS CYCLE
•   Type: Purely Sedimental

•   Major reservoir – Earth’s crust

•   Gradual cycle - It has no gaseous p...
IMPACTS OF HUMAN
                INTRUSION
•   Humans mine phosphate ores
    for use in fertilizer production
    and det...
SULFUR CYCLE
•   Type: Sedimentary cycle with atmospheric
    component

•   Major reservoir – inorganic sulfur in rocks
 ...
CONTROVERSIES
ASSOCIATED WITH THE
    SULFUR CYCLE




    ACID RAIN
THE CYCLING OF
 HEAVY METALS
 BIOMAGNIFICATION AND
    BIOREMEDIATION
MERCURY
•   Fish can be contaminated with
    methylmercury from neighboring
    industrial plants

•   They discharge mer...
CADMIUM
•   Itai-itai disease is cadmium poisoning,
    first in Japan 1950

•   Cadmium was released into the river
    by...
LEAD
•   Lead poisoning =
    Increases level of lead
    leads to negative effects
    on nervous and
    reproductive sy...
HYDROCARBON
•   DDT – (dichlor-diphenyl-
    trichloroethane) “organochlorine
    insecticide”

•   Banned in 1972

•   Ex...
BIOLOGICAL MAGNIFICATION
•   It is the increase in concentration of an element
    or compound that occurs in the food cha...
NEXT
 MEETING:
POPULATION
Lecture 4  material cycling 1 st 2010-2011
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Lecture 4 material cycling 1 st 2010-2011

  1. 1. MATERIAL CYCLING IN ECOSYSTEMS Lecture 3 NS5 1st 2010-2011
  2. 2. THE CYCLING OF MATERIALS IN THE ENVIRONMENT • LAW OF ECOLOGY #2: EVERYTHING MUST GO SOMEWHERE • LAW OF THERMODYNAMICS: ENERGY IS NOT CREATED NOR DESTROYED
  3. 3. BIOGEOCHEMICAL CYCLING • The movement of elements and compounds that are essential to life • Materials are transported through organisms, the atmosphere, water and land in a series of CYCLES • “Bio” – life, participation of organisms • “Geo” - abiotic environment as source of nutrients • “Chemical” – nature of substances being cycled
  4. 4. BASIC TYPES OF CYCLES • Gaseous type – the reservoir is the atmosphere and/or hydrosphere (e.g. N2, CO2, O2) • Sedimentary type – the reservoir is the Earth’s crust (e.g. Phosphorus) • Linkage type – the reservoir includes major pathways in air, water, and crust (e.g. sulfur)
  5. 5. WHEN THE PROBLEMS COME IN • Errors in Nutrient Cycling • A’  A’’  A’’’’  A’ • Pollution – accumulation of a chemical form that is higher than the standards • Non-biodegradable substances – change to form new chemical structure where no organism has yet to utilize it • Reduction of the concentration of other chemical forms – limits growth of the subsequent components of the cycle • Eutrophication - the channeling of a substance to other pathways (greater amounts of phosphates in aquatic systems)
  6. 6. INTRODUCING THE CYCLES OF NATURE BIOGEOCHEMICAL CYCLES
  7. 7. THE HYDROLOGIC CYCLE OR WATER CYCLE !"#$%&'"(&)*+),-./.012)345678)9$(:;$) <=)
  8. 8. PURPOSE: Mediates Nutrient Cycle and A Major Energy Dissipation Pathway • IMPACTS OF HUMAN INTRUSION • More consumption than supply • Pumping waters from aquifers - not a normal part of the water cycle • Garbage and wastes pollute the water and clog drainage systems induces flooding • Asphalting – render the ground impervious to water blocks infiltration POLLUTION: a change in transfer rate of water and nutrients that can lead directly or indirectly to a degradation of human health or degradation of plant and animal life
  9. 9. • OXYGEN CYCLE Type: Gaseous (21%) • Major Reservoir: Atmosphere • Forms: Free and Molecular Oxygen • Sources: Photosynthesis from producer AND Photodissociation of Water Vapor • Fate of Free O2: • Reach higher levels of trophosphere and reduced to ozone (provides protection by filtering out the sun's UV rays) • May react with chemicals and organic compounds of the earth’s crust • May be used up in cell respiration which release CO2 to be used by autotrophs to produce more O2
  10. 10. IMPACTS OF HUMAN INTRUSION • CFC’s (chlorofluorocarbons) deplete ozone layer “ozone hole” • Eutrophication (nutrient enrichment from agricultural and domestic wastes) leads to depletion of oxygen in water • Combustion of fossil fuels and removal of vegetation (deforestation) deplete the supply of oxygen in the atmosphere
  11. 11. CARBON CYCLE • Type: Gaseous Cycle • Major Reservoir : Atmosphere but also calcium carbonate in shells and limestone, as well as fossil fuels • Significance : Major element of organic compounds; building blocks of all biomolecules • Processes • Photosynthesis removes CO2 while respiration and combustion add CO2 to the atmosphere. • CO2 from air and water combine to form bicarbonate (HCO3) – source of carbon for aquatic producers. Carbonic acid makes rainwater also slightly acidic • Similarly, when aquatic organisms respire, CO2 is released and combine with water to form HCO3. HCO3 (water) = CO2 (air)
  12. 12. The global carbon cycle includes the earth's atmosphere, oceans, vegetation, soils and fossil fuels
  13. 13. CARBON RESERVOIRS
  14. 14. CONTROVERSIAL ISSUES ASSOCIATED WITH CARBON CYCLE
  15. 15. NITROGEN CYCLE • Type: Gaseous Cycle • Major reservoir – ATMOSPHERE • Importance – Essential for many biological processes, constitutes part of proteins (amino acids), in bases of nucleic acids that make up DNA and RNA • 79% of atmosphere is made up of nitrogen (N2) but this is INERT • It must be fixed for organisms to utilize it
  16. 16. IMPACTS OF HUMAN INTRUSION • USE OF NITROGEN FERTILIZERS • NITROGEN OXIDES RELEASED THROUGH COMBUSTION • Human use of nitrogen fertilizers causes runoff, leading to eutrophication in aquatic • Burning of fossil fuel + automobiles : source systems (e.g. eutrophication) of nitrogen dioxide • NITRATES LEACHING INTO • Ozone + PAN Photochemical Smog GROUNDWATER • LIVESTOCK RELEASE OF LARGE AMOUNTS • Nitrogen level in drinking water rises OF AMMONIA (FROM WASTES) • A large rise of nitrogen in drinking water • The ammonia released from wastes of supplies leads to Methemoglobinemia / livestock can have detrimental effects on Blue-Baby Syndrome fish and other organisms • There is reduction in diversity
  17. 17. PHOSPHORUS CYCLE • Type: Purely Sedimental • Major reservoir – Earth’s crust • Gradual cycle - It has no gaseous phase • Phosphorous normally occurs in nature as part of phosphate ion. • Most phosphates found as salts in ocean sediments or in rocks. • Over time : geologic processes can bring sediments from ocean to land, and weathering can bring it from land to ocean • Importance • Phosphorous constituent of nucleic acids in DNA, and energy currency of cell ATP. • Phosphorous -also found in bones, in phospholipids which are found in biological membranes.
  18. 18. IMPACTS OF HUMAN INTRUSION • Humans mine phosphate ores for use in fertilizer production and detergents • Human actions could lead to eutrophication of aquatic systems which cause algal blooms • Algal blooms cause fish kills
  19. 19. SULFUR CYCLE • Type: Sedimentary cycle with atmospheric component • Major reservoir – inorganic sulfur in rocks and fossil fuel • Biological Importance • Sulfur is an important element in protoplasm which is an important component of some amino acids. • Sulfur is part of proteins, vitamins and hormones
  20. 20. CONTROVERSIES ASSOCIATED WITH THE SULFUR CYCLE ACID RAIN
  21. 21. THE CYCLING OF HEAVY METALS BIOMAGNIFICATION AND BIOREMEDIATION
  22. 22. MERCURY • Fish can be contaminated with methylmercury from neighboring industrial plants • They discharge mercury wastes into water • Result : Minamata disease or Mercury Poisoning • Effects : blindness, deafness, lack of coordination, intellectual deterioration
  23. 23. CADMIUM • Itai-itai disease is cadmium poisoning, first in Japan 1950 • Cadmium was released into the river by mining companies in the mountains • Causes softening of the bone, and kidney failure • Name of disease derived from painful screams because of severe pain in joints and spine of victims “pain-pain”
  24. 24. LEAD • Lead poisoning = Increases level of lead leads to negative effects on nervous and reproductive system • e.g. Lead containing gasoline, Paints, Batteries, Electric Wires, Cables etc
  25. 25. HYDROCARBON • DDT – (dichlor-diphenyl- trichloroethane) “organochlorine insecticide” • Banned in 1972 • Exposure to DDT causes eggshell thinning in bird species eg. raptors, eagles, peregrine falcons • Toxic to humans and animals when swallowed or absorbed through the skin
  26. 26. BIOLOGICAL MAGNIFICATION • It is the increase in concentration of an element or compound that occurs in the food chain as a result of food chain energetics or degradation of substance. • Accumulation of chemicals in higher predators or in higher trophic levels • Chemical concentration is said to be magnified thousand fold in tissues of higher trophic level organisms • It is important in ecology because : it indicates that solution to certain types of pollution is not dilution because food chains will concentrate the pollutant ANSWER : BIOREMEDIATION
  27. 27. NEXT MEETING: POPULATION
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