Phosphorus cycle tutorial

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The Phosphorus Cycle
Start from the
beginning
Make it Rain!
The Producers
The Consumers
The
Decomposers
The Quiz
The Human
Factor
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Why is Phosphorus Important?
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DNA molecules are made from
three smaller molecules:
(1) Sugar
(2) Nitrogen base
(3) ???
What is the 3rd molecule of
DNA?
Fatty acid
No. Fatty acids are in
lipids.
Phosphate
group
correct
Monosaccharide
No. Monosaccharaides
are in carbohydrates.
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Why is Phosphorus Important?
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ATP is a molecule needed by
cells for _______.
Energy
correct
Food
Hint: What does the
mitochondria create?
Releasing
CO2
Hint: What does the
mitochondria create?
ATP stands for Adenosine
Tri________?
prokaryote
Which choice looks like
“phosphorus?”
Polysaccharide
Which choice looks like
“phosphorus?”
phosphate
correct
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Why is Phosphorus Important?
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Which part of a cell is semi-permeable
and allows some materials to
enter/exit the cell?
waste
waste
Mitochondria
Cell
membrane
Hint: What does the
mitochondria create?
correct
Rough ER
Hint: What does the
mitochondria create?
waste
The cell membrane is made from a
double layer of lipids called
“phospholipids.” Which element is
implied by the prefix “phospho?”
glucose
Phosphorus
Potassium
Plutonium
Phospho…cmon!
Phospho…cmon!
glucose
correct
glucose
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Why is Phosphorus Important?
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Our cells need phospholipids, DNA, and
ATP. They each have phosphorus in them.
So where does the phosphorus come
from? Phosphorus come from rocks.
Rocks are solid lumps of minerals, and
some of those minerals are phosphorus.
So when rocks crumble and erode,
phosphorus is released from the rocks.
The weather causes rocks to crumble.
Wind, cold, and rain cause dust sized
fragments of rocks to chip off, thus
releasing phosphorus into the ground
Make it Rain!
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The weather causes
phosphorus to be released
from rocks. Click the cloud to
make it rain.
Small bits of phosphorus are
released into the ecosystem
due to the weather.
P
P PP P
Snails don’t
have roots.
Roots…
think roots
Click the cloud to make it stop
raining.
Now that there is phosphorus
in the soil, click on the land
organism that can absorb it
through their roots.
The Producers
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Of course! Plants simply
absorb the phosphorus
through their roots. Click on
the roots to proceed.
Now that plants have
phosphorus they can use it to
make their DNA, ATP, and
phospholipids.
P
Click on the herbivore (primary
consumer) in the diagram.
P
P
P
P
Decomposers
feed on the
dead. This
plant is alive.
P
The Consumers
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Of course! The snail is an
herbivore so it eats the plant.
This is how animals get the
phosphorus to make their
DNA, ATP, and phospholipids.
P
P
P
Maybe
accidentally, but
cows are
herbivores too.
P
P
P
Phosphorus simply moves up
the food chain. Which
organism would likely eat
snails?
P
P
P
Wolves are
hunters. I don’t
think they would
hunt snails.
Back
Up the Food Chain
Home
P
P
P
The snail eats the plant…
The frog eats the snail…
Which would likely eat the frog?
I’m an
herbivore.
You got it. Phosphorus moves up the food chain.
I’m an
herbivore.
The Decomposers
Back
Like
anywhole
organism,
This
thing decomposers
started with
make
waste. rocks…remember?
They release their
crumbling
waste into the ecosystem. Some
of their waste even contains
Decomposers are organisms
phosphorus.
such as mushrooms and
bacteria. They have DNA, ATP,
Examine the picture… if
and phospholipids
also, so that
decomposers
release phosphorus
means
they
need
phosphorus
into
the soil,
which
organism
can
too.the phosphorus?
reuse
P
P
I hope you see why it’s
The plants
called the phosphorus
Will decomposers feed
cycle.on
P
P
P
P
Home
P
dead plants?
The rocks
P
P
P
P
You snails
got it. Will
The
dead snails?
yes
no
Rocks aren’t
they
feed
organisms
yes
no
What do snails
eat?
We’re almost done.
on
Back
The Quiz
1. Which molecule does not contain phosphorus?
DNA
ATP
Carbohydrate
Phospholipid
2. How does phosphorus get into the soil in the first place?
From rocks
From
decomposers
From
consumers
From
producers
3. Where do herbivores get phosphorus from?
From rocks
From
decomposers
From
consumers
From
producers
4. Where do carnivores get phosphorus from?
From rocks
From
decomposers
From
consumers
From
producers
5. Where do decomposers get phosphorus from?
From any
dead
organism
From
decomposers
only
From
consumers
only
From
producers
only
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The Human Factor
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Sadly, human actions are disrupting the phosphorus cycle. Humans, like this farmer, routinely
add extra phosphorus to soil because phosphorus is a fertilizer. What do you think the extra
phosphorus does for the farmer’s crops?
No.
killer
KillWeed
weeds
kills weeds.
No.Kill
Pesticides
bugs kill
bugs.
Yes, exactly!
Stimulates
growth
P
P
P
P
P
So if phosphorus helps crops grow,
why is this bad?
P
Why is this Bad?
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The extra phosphorus is intended
to help crops grow better, but often
the phosphorus is washed away
into rivers, lakes, and ponds when
it rains.
rain
RainMake
Rain itGo
Away
The extra phosphorus got washed
away and is collecting in this pond.
Since the phosphorus is a fertilizer, it
causes algae in the pond to grow at an
extreme rate. These extreme algae
growths are called “algal blooms.” As
the algae eventually die, the decaying
process uses up the oxygen in the
pond, thus all the fish die. Once the
fish die, so does the rest of the
ecosystem.
P
P
P
P
P P
P
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Wanna go for a swim?
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Back
Wanna go for a swim?
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Wanna go for a swim?
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Is There Any Hope?
You can help stop this problem.
Purchasing organic food supports farmers who do NOT use extra fertilizers.
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Is There Any Hope?
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You can help stop this problem.
Purchasing organic food supports farmers who do NOT use extra fertilizers.
Not using fertilizers in your home garden prevents the spread of excess phosphorus.
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Is There Any Hope?
Home
You can help stop this problem.
Purchasing organic food supports farmers who do NOT use extra fertilizers.
Not using fertilizers in your home garden prevents the spread of excess phosphorus.
Often, produce sold at a farmer’s market is organic. The Beverly Hills Farmer’s Market
is every Sunday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
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The End
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