Biogeochemical Cycles

Section Summary

Mineral nutrients are cycled through ecosystems and their environment. Of particular importance are water, carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, and sulfur. All of these cycles have major impacts on ecosystem structure and function. A variety of human activities, such as pollution, oil spills, and other events have damaged ecosystems, potentially causing global climate change. The health of Earth depends on understanding these cycles and how to protect the environment from irreversible damage.