Phosphorus (P) includes a number of important elements and compounds of the biosphere, since it is an integral part of nucleic acids and other substances involved in energy metabolism. Phosphorus deficiency leads to a decrease in the productivity of the body. During the cycle of this element in the environment, all substances with its content either slightly dissolve or practically do not dissolve. The most stable components are magnesium or calcium orthophosphates. In some solutions, they are converted to dihydrogen phosphates, which are absorbed by the flora. As a result, organic phosphorus compounds appear from inorganic phosphates.
Education and the P cycle
In the environment, phosphorus is found in some rocks lying in the bowels of the Earth. The cycle of this element in nature can be divided into two stages:
- terrestrial — begins when rocks containing P come to the surface where they are weathering;
- water - the element enters the sea, part is absorbed by representatives of phytoplankton, which, in turn, is eaten by seabirds and brought out together with their waste products.
Part of the excrement of the birds in which P is contained is on land, and they can be washed back to the sea, where everything will go further in the same circle. Phosphorus also enters the aquatic environment through the decomposition of the bodies of marine animals. Some of the skeletons of fish settle on the bottom of the seas, accumulate and turn into sedimentary rocks.
Excessive saturation of water bodies with phosphorus leads to the following consequences:
- increase in the number of plants in the waters;
- flowering of rivers, seas and other bodies of water;
Those substances that contain phosphorus and are on land, enter the soil. Plant roots absorb P along with other elements. When herbs, trees and bushes die off, phosphorus returns to the ground with them. It is lost from the earth when water erosion occurs. In soils where there is a high P content, under the influence of various factors, apatites and phosphorites are formed. A separate contribution to the P cycle is made by people who use phosphorus fertilizers and household chemicals with R.
Thus, the circulation of phosphorus in the medium is a rather lengthy process. During its course, the element enters the water and the earth, saturates the animals and plants that live both on the ground and in the water, and also enters the human body in a certain amount.