Essay On Phosphorus Cycle

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All phosphate fertilizers are obtained by extraction from minerals containing the anion PO43-. In few cases, fields are treated with the crushed mineral, but more frequently further soluble salts are produced by the chemical treatment of phosphate minerals. Phosphate-containing minerals are often referred to collectively as phosphate rock. Phosphate rock naturally weather to release phosphate ions over long periods of time. This plays a key role in regulating the natural phosphorous cycle.
The natural phosphorous cycle
The phosphorus cycle begins in the Earth’s crust where phosphorus-containing rock, phosphorite, is weathered by processes of wind, rain, freezing and thawing until it eventually becomes soil. This can take many millennia to occur. Once in the soil, part of the phosphorus is absorbed by plants. Phosphorus is then transferred from plants to other living organisms via the food chain. The phosphorous is returned to the soil through the decomposition of organic matter. This process ranges from days to weeks.
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These products are shipped around the world, changing the Earth’s distribution of this precious element. Removing phosphorus from its rightful environment is extremely damaging to the surrounding living organisms in the environment. Over fertilization and use of pesticides in agricultural practices results in excess phosphate in the soil which often cause soil erosion and loss in crop quality. Excess phosphates also enters groundwater and river systems through runoff and leaching, causing major problems such as eutrophication which harm plant and aquatic life. Phosphate pollution of water bodies causes the increased growth of algae and cyanobacteria, which makes the water murky and reduces O2 concentration, resulting in reduced species diversity and ultimately disrupt entire

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