Overview

biogeochemical cycle

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active pool

active pool  

That part of a biogeochemical cycle in which the nutrient element under consideration is exchanged rapidly between the biotic and abiotic components. Usually the active pool is smaller than the ...
atmospheric chemistry

atmospheric chemistry  

The study of the chemical composition of the atmosphere, of aerosols, pollutants, and rainfall, and the various chemical reactions in which they are involved. It includes the processes of ...
biological conservation

biological conservation  

Active management to ensure the survival of the maximum diversity of species, and the maintenance of genetic variety within species. The term also implies the maintenance of biosphere functions, e.g. ...
Biological Feedback

Biological Feedback  

A feedback is the return of output to the input part of a system. The system may be the body of a living organism, a population, or the interacting biotic ...
biosphere

biosphere  

The whole of the region of the earth's surface, the sea, and the air that is inhabited by living organisms.
carbon cycle

carbon cycle  

The movement of carbon through the surface, interior, and atmosphere of the Earth. Carbon exists in atmospheric gases, in dissolved ions in the hydrosphere, and in solids as a major component of ...
carbon pool

carbon pool  

The total amount of carbon that is stored, cycling, or otherwise available for use in biogeochemical cycles.
Ecological Stability

Ecological Stability  

Ecological stability is a set of special cases of system stability. [See Stability; and System Dynamics.] The classic assumption has been that all ecological systems, including the Earth system, are ...
ecosystem

ecosystem  

An assemblage of interacting populations of species grouped into communities in a local environment. Ecosystems vary greatly in size (e.g., a small pool vs. a giant reef). See biome.
ecosystem services

ecosystem services  

Processes or materials such as clean water, energy, climate regulation, and nutrient cycling that are naturally provided by ecosystems. Also known as ecological services.
Gaia hypothesis

Gaia hypothesis  

The theory, based on an idea put forward by the British scientist James Ephraim Lovelock (1919– ), that the whole earth, including both its biotic (living) and abiotic (nonliving) components, ...
geochemical cycle

geochemical cycle  

A continuous cycle of elements passing through and between the Earth's lithosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere. For example, sodium is released from rocks (lithosphere) by weathering and ...
global environmental research

global environmental research  

Research into environmental issues at the global scale, which reflects growing interest in two sets of processes. First, there are the natural environmental processes that are global in scale. This ...
Industrial Metabolism

Industrial Metabolism  

Industrial metabolism (IM) is a metaphor for calling attention to the resemblance between the materials processing functions of an industry—defined broadly—and those of a biological organism or ...
Limits To Growth

Limits To Growth  

All organisms are subject to some constraint on their numbers; no species can grow infinitely abundant. For organisms such as bacteria, this phenomenon can be observed in a microcosm. The ...
man-induced turnover

man-induced turnover  

The additional flow of an element through the active part of a biogeochemical cycle that results from human activity. For example, by burning fossil fuels humans add an extra 6.7 billion tonnes per ...
mineral cycle

mineral cycle  

A biogeochemical cycle, in which elements move through the soil, living organisms, air, and water, or through some of these.
natural turnover rate

natural turnover rate  

The normal rate of transfer of an element through the active part of a biogeochemical cycle. Compare man-induced turnover. See also turnover.
nitrogen cycle

nitrogen cycle  

An important chemical cycle, consisting of a complex series of processes that circulate nitrogen between the atmosphere and animals, plants, and soil. Nitrogen in the atmosphere may be converted into ...
nutrient cycle

nutrient cycle  

The natural circulation of chemical elements (such as carbon and nitrogen) and compounds through specific pathways from the abiotic parts of ecosystems into the organic substances of the biotic ...

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