Phosphorus Cycle Facts

Phosphorus Cycle Facts
The phosphorus cycle tracks the movement of phosphorous through the Earth's crust, the Earth's surface, and the ocean. Usually phosphorus exists as a solid metal so it is not typically found in the atmosphere. Plants do need phosphorus to grow, however a lot of phosphorus is permanently lost due to runoff.
Interesting Phosphorus Cycle Facts:
The element phosphorous was discovered in 1669 by Hennig Brand in Germany.
When phosphorus was discovered by Brand, he became the first person to be credited with the discovery of an element.
Once phosphorus gets lost during runoff, it remains lost from the cycle forever.
Phosphorus is essential for plant growth.
Phosphorus can most likely be found underground in soil and rocks.
The majority of mined phosphorus is used to make artificial fertilizers.
When too much phosphorus containing fertilizer is washed into the ocean, it causes an increase in algae growth called an algae bloom.
After rocks break down underground, phosphorus is usually released and absorbed by plants.
Once an animal or plant dies and decays, phosphorus is returned to the ground.
The phosphorus cycle occurs much slower than other biochemical cycles because the processes that move the phosphorus occur at a slow rate.
Once phosphorus enters a plant or animal, it moves through the organism very quickly.
Phosphorus is responsible for holding DNA together.
Phosphorus usually exists in a molecule combined with the element oxygen.
Animals receive phosphorus directly by eating plants or indirectly by eating plant eating animals.
If released phosphorus from marine animals becomes part of the underwater sediment, it may remain there forever.

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