Imbalances in Biogeochemical Cycles Carbon Cycle – Combustion • Fossil fuels are carbon compounds that have long been removed from the carbon cycle. • What event caused this increase in CO2? • What does more CO2 in the atmosphere lead to? Carbon Cycle – Decomposition & Respiration • The oil spill released billions of gallons of carbon based oil into the water. • Oil is a good source of nutrition for some bacteria in the gulf. • What happens to a population when given an abundant food source? • When bacteria use the oil they eat for energy, they perform cellular respiration. What other chemical is used? What chemical is made? Carbon Cycle – Decomposition & Respiration • The area where large bacteria populations have used most of the oxygen are called dead zones • Why do you think it is called a dead zone? Carbon Cycle - Photosynthesis • Photosynthesis is the primary way for the environment to remove CO2 from the atmosphere . What impact does development have on the amount of photosynthesis that occurs? Carbon Cycle – Carbon in solution • When CO2 from the atmosphere dissolves in surface waters, it forms carbonic acid. • What would carbonic acid do to the pH of the water? Carbon Cycle – Carbon in solution What effect do you think this has on ocean life? Hydrologic Cycle – Precipitation and Evaporation • Flood Drought • What is the effect of each to your biome? Hydrologic Cycle – Condensation • Morning dew is an example of condensation. • There are some plants and animals (especially in the desert) that rely on dew for survival Hydrologic cycle – Infiltration and Run Off • The most efficient infiltration of water occurs in slow, steady precipitation. Why? • Run off tends to occur when it pours. Why? • Which is most common in our biome: slow and steady, or when it rains, it pours? Hydrologic Cycle – Infiltration and Run Off What are the benefits of run off? What are the benefits of infiltration? Hydrologic cycle – Transpiration • Evapotranspiration of a forest is affected by ecological disturbances, such as clearcutting and wildfire. • These disturbances greatly reduce the transpiration evapotranspiration for several years • What effect do you think this has on other hydrologic processes? Hydrologic cycle – Transpiration • Disruption in transpiration affects timing and amounts of stream flow, which may then have effects on flooding and erosion. • In addition, on sites that do not drain well, substantial decreases in transpiration can increase the height of the water table. Hydrologic Cycle – Freezing & Melting • What is the source of some of our rivers? Hydrologic Cycle – Freezing & Melting • Global climate change could affect when mountain snow melts and how much precipitation the mountains receive. • How could this impact our biome? Nitrogen Cycle – Nitrogen Fixation • Plants like beans have bacteria that form nodules on their roots. These nodules allow that plant to “fix” nitrogen into a form that all plants can use for nutrition. • In conventional agriculture, the same type of plant (Ex. Corn) is often planted over and over again in the same field. • What happens to the available nitrogen in the soil when this happens? • What are possible solutions to this problem? Nitrogen Cycle – Nitrogen Fixation • When a field does not have enough nitrogen to grow crops, farmers often add synthetic fertilizer to make the field better able to produce. • Often, more fertilizer than necessary is used to ensure that enough of it makes it to the plants. • What will happen to the excess nitrogen in rain storms? Eutrophication Nitrogen Cycle – Denitrification • Adding too much fertilizer not only causes eutrophication, but can also lead to more denitrification. • Denitrification increases nitrous oxide in the atmosphere. • Nitrous oxide is a 300X stronger green house gas than CO2 Nitrogen Cycle – Nitrification • The nitrates and nitrites made in nitrification are useable by plants. • Disruptions to denitrification or nitrogen fixation affects this intermediary step. Nitrogen Cycle – Ammonification • Bacteria takes all of the feces, urine and rotting organisms and turns it into ammonia or ammonium. • These are useful forms of nitrogen to plants. Nitrogen Cycle – Assimilation • Assimilation is where plants take in nitrates and converts it to amino acids. • What are amino acids the building blocks of? • Fewer plants=more nitrates in the soil. • What is wrong with more nitrates in the soil?