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The phosphorus cycle includes the following steps:
- Phosphorus in fertilizer, rocks, and mountains is distributed by rain to nearby land and bodies of water
- Animals eat the plants grown by fertilizer. They expel the phosphorus as waste. It eventually reaches the water as runoff.
- Phosphorus is cycled through animals that live in water. It is eventually deposited into the ocean floor.
- Phosphates contribute to the sediment at the bottom of the water. That sediment becomes rock
- The ocean bed eventually becomes a mountain range over several millions of years because of normal geological functions
- The phosphorus in those mountain ranges is washed off into bodies of water and the cycle begins again and again.
Diagram[change | change source]
References[change | change source]
- Friedland, Andrew J., Rick Relyea, and David Courard-Hauri. "The Phosphorus Cycle." Environmental Science for AP*. New York: W.H. Freeman, 2012. N. pag. Print.