Human impact on the phosphorus cycle, Biology

Human Impact on the Phosphorus Cycle

Like other biogeochemical cycles, human activities have altered the phosphorus cycle. Human beings mine phosphate rocks and guano deposits to make phosphorus available for production of fertilisers, detergents, animal feed, medicines, pesticide: and numerous other products. This mining exposes phosphate deposits made over millions of years. Phosphates are removed from soil through cropping of vegetation and to replace it phosphate fertilisers have to be added. Because of the abundance of calcium, iron and aluminium in the soil much of the phosphates get immobilised as insoluble salts. Thus more fertilisers have to be added. This results in high concentration of phosphates in agricultural runoffs. Similarly concentration of phosphorus in detergents, wastes of food processing plants, animal feed lot, sewage, etc., add to a considerable quantity of phosphorus poured in natural waters.

This problem becomes acute in urban areas. As said earlier, in aquatic ecosystems the phosphorus is taken up rapidly by the vegetation resulting in a sudden explosive growth of algae. Like nitrogen, this leads to cultural eutrophication of the water body. The producers cloud the water and forms a scum on the surface, blocking sunlight for the submerged plants. This is one example of the result of accumulation of nutrients at one stage of the nutrient cycle. It is important to note that the means of returning phosphorus to the cycle are inadequate to compensate for the loss. Sea birds have traditionally played-an important part in returning phosphorus to the cycle via their droppings (for example guano deposits off the coast of Peru) but apparently not at the rate at which it has occurred in the past. Unfortunately human activities appear to hasten the rate at which phosphorus is lost and thus make the cycle 'less perfect'. You could think our present use of phosphorus which is washed out into the rivers and finally into the oceans as an accelerated 'pouring' of phosphorus from the source to the sink.

Posted Date: 1/19/2013 2:26:53 AM | Location : United States







Related Discussions:- Human impact on the phosphorus cycle, Assignment Help, Ask Question on Human impact on the phosphorus cycle, Get Answer, Expert's Help, Human impact on the phosphorus cycle Discussions

Write discussion on Human impact on the phosphorus cycle
Your posts are moderated
Related Questions
define alimentary canal

Circulatory system:  One of the eleven major body organ systems in animals; carbon dioxide, nutrients, transports oxygen, and waste products between the cells and the respiratory s

what is he importance of proteins for living beings

What benefit does the sea anemone get in the sea anemone-hermit crab facultative mutualism? Give an alternative term for this part of mutualism. Name the nitrogenous wast

What is Arsenite  inhibitor Arsenite inhibits synthesis of ATP,  in the conversion of 1,3-bisphosphoglycerate  to 3- phosphoglycerate, by  causing uncoupling of oxidation and

Explain Bidirectional Superior vena cavo pulmonary shunt bidirectional glenn "This is a palliative produce where blood from superior vena cava is diverted to the pulmonary arter

Normal 0 false false false EN-IN X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4

Q. Carbohydrates requirements for ulcerative colitis? Carbohydrates: They form the easily absorbable source of energy. Bulk-producing vegetables are restricted so as to allow b

What is the difference among sexual spores and gametes? Do humans present sexual spores or gametes? Sexual spores are structures formed from meiosis with ploidy (number of chro

Morphogenetic Processes We discussed earlier the process through which a fertilized egg assumes the shape of a ball or a sheet of cells around a cavity, called blastula. Cons