The Carbon Cycle

Topics: Carbon dioxide, Oxygen, Photosynthesis Pages: 3 (607 words) Published: August 27, 2013
The Carbon Cycle
Poppy Matless

Carbon is present in all living organisms. When organisms die, the carbon is recycled for future generations.

1. Carbon is released as CO2 via respiration and combustion 2. CO2 is absorbed by producers (grass, plants etc)
3. Animals feed off of the plant, passing on carbon throughout the food chain, losing some carbon as CO2 respiration. 4. When the animal dies, it is eaten by decomposers, and the carbon returns to the atmosphere 5. If decomposition is blocked, the animal or plant material may become fossil fuel in the future for combustion.

Word and symbol equations

▪ Photosynthesis:
6H2O + 6CO2 + solar energy=C6H12O6 + 6O2
Water + Carbon dioxide + solar energy=Glucose + oxygen
▪ Cellular respiration
C6H12O6 + 6O2=6H20 + 6CO2 + solar energy
This is the same as the equation for photosynthesis, but reversed.

Step 1 Explanation

When animals respire, they release CO2 into the atmosphere. CO2 is also released by the burning of fossil fuels, or combustion. The CO2 remains in the atmosphere, where it absorbs heat from the sun, and contributes to the greenhouse effect. Eventually, the CO2 is absorbed by plants through photosynthesis.

Step 2 Explanation

Plants absorb the CO2 through photosynthesis, by absorbing it through the stomata on the leaves. Other factors that contribute to photosynthesis are light intensity, amount of water and temperature.

Step 3 Explanation

When a producer is consumed, it passes on the energy from the carbon to the animal that consumed it. From creature to creature, a certain amount of energy and carbon is lost to the environment, through respiration and waste. This continues throughout the food chain, where it final stops at the tertiary consumer, when all energy is lost.

Step 4 Explanation

When an animal dies, it is eaten by decomposers. Decomposers include fungi and bacteria. Factors that influence decomposition include temperature,...
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