The water, oxygen, and carbon cycles
Water, Oxygen, and Carbon move through the ecosystem through various processes. The following are illustrations of these processes.
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Water Cycle (The hydrological Cycle)
Water moves through the environment through various processes such as evaporation and transpiration from the vegetation (where it is released as water vapor) into the environment. It then rises up and condenses to form clouds, which later fall back on the earth as various forms of precipitation such as snow or rain. Some of the water which falls back to earth is absorbed by plants while some sips underground. Some water also goes back to water bodies. The cycle repeats itself.
As illustrated above, Oxygen moves from the environment into plants and animals during the process of oxidation. Oxygen is used to break down food to release energy. One of the by-products of this process is Carbon-dioxide which is released back into the atmosphere.
If the natural chemicals cycle is disturbed, how will it affect the flora and faunas?
Natural chemical cycles involve the transportation and transformation of chemical elements throughout an ecosystem by the chemical processes of biosynthesis, biodegradation, and the oxidation-reduction process.
When these cycles are disturbed, they can have adverse effects on the flora and fauna in an ecosystem. The most common is the eventual death of flora and fauna. This is because these processes are responsible for delivering essential elements to the environment and especially the flora, which are the major producers of food in an ecosystem hence causing a disruption in the food chain of an ecosystem.
Also, disturbance of the natural cycles such as biodegradation, which is responsible for the breakdown of organic matter into nutrients, will lead to diminishing soil fertility. This affects the flora and eventually the fauna through the disruption in the food chain.
Another effect is the disruption of natural cycles which is responsible for the distribution of essential biological elements. This leads to the accumulation of these elements in the environment. This accumulation could lead to adverse effects in the environment such as a change in PH levels in soil and water bodies which affects the flora and faunas.
Why is it important to restore the natural forest in order to maintain our natural biochemical cycles?
Forests constitute a large variety of flora and fauna that play a significant role in maintaining a balanced ecosystem. Their significance is well illustrated in the water, Oxygen, and Carbon cycles where they are responsible for:
Maintaining low Carbon-dioxide levels in the atmosphere
They do this through the process of photosynthesis during which they combine Carbon-dioxide and water in the presence of sunlight and chlorophyll to make food. This process keeps the concentration levels of Carbon-dioxide at acceptable levels thus preventing global warming.
Forests are responsible for bringing rain
Some of the large rain forests of the world are at times referred to as water towers. They contribute to the occurrence of precipitation such as rain by releasing water into the environment through the process of evapotranspiration. The water which is released as water vapor moves up into the atmosphere, contracts and condenses to become water drops which later come together to form clouds. This later falls as rain or any other form of precipitation.