Biogeochemical Cycles: Definition, Biogeochemical Cycles and Examples

sinaumedia Literacy – Ecology or can also be interpreted as a science that studies the relationship between organisms and their environment. Several ecosystems are correlated with one another through biological, physical and chemical processes. For more details, let’s learn about biogeochemical cycles, along with a more complete explanation of the icon, Sinaumed’s!


This means that the balance of the ecosystem depends on the repetition that occurs in rotation on certain chemical elements. Chemical elements that can undergo biogeochemical cycles include carbon, nitrogen, hydrogen and oxygen, as well as phosphorus. In biogeochemical cycles as well as the exchange between living and non-living biosphere components which will be at the trophic level which is not lost in the ecosystem.

The elements as biotic substances through water are recycled with living components including ecosystem materials that will be removed at every level, in the form of elements made from organic materials and will be recycled, the elements include components and biotic elements that pass through the air and Recycling of creatures and rocks (geophysics). Cycles in the formation of the Biogeochemical Cycle Among them are as follows:

  • Evaporation: In this cycle of the atmosphere with the formation in a saturated state, water vapor (clouds) becomes water stains, which then fall in the form of rain, and snow.
  • Infiltration is a flow of water that enters the soil through cracks and pores in the soil to the groundwater surface and then moves vertically and horizontally below the soil surface.
  • Surface water is a surface runoff usually observed in urban areas by forming the main river on the surface around the watershed towards the sea.


The function of the Biogeochemical Cycle is to become a material cycle or cycle that reverses all the chemical elements that have been used by all on earth from biotic components or abiotic components, which in the end is sustainable and balanced in life on earth can be maintained. Below are the various biogeochemical cycles that you need to know about in Sinaumed’s:


The carbon cycle is the biogeochemical cycle in which carbon is exchanged between Earth’s biosphere, geosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere (other astronomical objects may have a similar carbon cycle, although this is currently unknown). In this cycle there are four main carbon reservoirs connected by exchange pathways.

These reservoirs are the atmosphere, the terrestrial biosphere (usually including freshwater systems and non-living organic material such as soil carbon), the oceans (including dissolved inorganic carbon and living and non-living marine biota), and sediments (including fossil fuels). The movement of carbon years, the exchange of carbon between reservoirs, occurs due to various chemical, physical, geological and biological processes.

The oceans contain the largest pool of active carbon near the Earth’s surface, however, the deep-sea part of this pool undergoes slow exchange with the atmosphere. The global carbon balance is the balance of carbon exchanges (inflows and outflows) between carbon reservoirs or between specific loops of the carbon cycle (eg atmosphere – biosphere). Analysis of the carbon balance of a pond or reservoir can provide information about whether the pond or reservoir functions as a source or sink of carbon dioxide.

To learn more about the sea and what’s in it, Sinaumed’s can study the book Why? The Sea – The sea which explains everything that happens in the sea through interesting animations.


The nitrogen cycle is a process of converting compounds containing nitrogen into various other chemical forms. This transformation can occur biologically or non-biologically. Several important processes in the nitrogen cycle, including nitrogen fixation, mineralization, nitrification, denitrification. Although there are many nitrogen molecules in the atmosphere, nitrogen in the gaseous state is not very reactive. Only a few organisms are capable of converting them into organic compounds by a process called nitrogen fixation.

Other nitrogen fixation occurs due to geophysical processes, such as the occurrence of lightning. Lightning has a very important role in life, without it there would be no life forms on earth. However, very few living things can absorb nitrogen compounds that are formed from nature. Almost all living things get nitrogen compounds from other living things. Therefore, the nitrogen fixation reaction is often called the topping-up process or the function of adding to the availability of reserves of nitrogen compounds. Below are the stages of the nitrogen cycle:

  • The first stage is the nitrogen cycle or the process of transferring nitrogen from the atmosphere into the soil. In addition to the entry of nitrogen into the soil due to rainwater, nitrogen can also enter through the nitrogen fixation process, this process is carried out by Rhizobium bacteria which will be in symbiosis with Azotobacter, Clostridium, and legumes bacteria. Green algae also have the same ability as fixing nitrogen.
  • The second stage is where nitrate is obtained from the results of biological fixation used by producers or plants which will then convert it into protein. If there are animals or plants that die, decomposers will convert them into NH3 (ammonia gas) and NH4+ (ammonium salts dissolved in water), the process that occurs is called ammonification. Nitrosomonas bacteria can convert ammonium and ammonia compounds into nitrates which are processed by Nitrosomonas. Denitrification is a process in which the oxygen contained in alkaline soil, then nitrate will be quickly transformed into nitrogen oxides or nitrogen gas.
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Vertebrates indirectly consume nitrogen through the intake of nutrients in the form of protein and nucleic acids. In the body, these macromolecules are broken down into smaller forms, namely amino acids and components of nucleotides, and used for the synthesis of new proteins, nucleic acids, or other compounds.

About half of the 20 types of amino acids found in proteins are essential amino acids for vertebrates, meaning that these amino acids cannot be produced from the nutritional intake of other compounds, while the rest can be synthesized using several basic nutritional ingredients, including intermediate compounds from the citric acid cycle.


The water cycle or hydrologic cycle is the never-ending circulation of water from the atmosphere to the earth and back to the atmosphere through condensation, precipitation, evaporation and transpiration. The heating of sea water by sunlight is the key to the continuous process of the hydrological cycle. Water evaporates, then falls as precipitation in the form of rain, snow, hail and snow (sleet), drizzle or fog.

Water is a vital need for all living things. No living thing can survive without water. Water is abundant in the sea, but its availability is relatively limited on land. For plants, water is an important factor for photosynthesis, germination and growth, as well as a means of transporting substances.

Hydrogen also has so many health benefits and goodness that you can learn from the book Hydrogen and Medical Gas by Dr. Iskandar Junaidi.

For animals and humans, water is an important factor in carrying out the transportation of substances. The water cycle is also known as the hydrologic cycle. Broadly speaking, the hydrological cycle is divided into three types, namely the short hydrological cycle, the medium hydrological cycle, and the long hydrological cycle. Here’s an explanation:

  • Short hydrologic cycle: Seawater evaporates, water vapor rises into the air and then coalesces into clouds. At a certain height the clouds condense and precipitate into water droplets, then fall as rain. In this short hydrologic cycle, clouds form and rain occurs over the sea, so rain does not reach land.
  • Moderate hydrologic cycle: Sea water evaporates, water vapor rises into the air and is carried by the wind until it reaches the land to form clouds. At a certain height the clouds condense and precipitate to form water droplets, then fall as rain on land. Some of the water seeps into the ground, while others return to the sea via rivers.
  • Long hydrologic cycle: Water vapor originating from the evaporation of sea water, ponds, lakes, rivers or the results of plant transpiration rises into the air, then unites into clouds. The clouds are carried by the wind towards the land and at some distance are blocked by mountains. Eventually the clouds condense and precipitate into water droplets and fall as rain over the mountains. Rainwater seeps into the ground in the mountains, then is absorbed by the plants in the mountains, some of which appear as springs. Through the river the water flows back to the sea.


The sulfur cycle or the sulfur cycle is a form of the biogeochemical cycle. Another understanding and definition of the sulfur or sulfur cycle is the change of sulfur from hydrogen sulfide to sulfur dioxide, then to sulfate and back to hydrogen sulfide again. Sulfur in nature is found in various forms. In the soil sulfur is found in the form of minerals, in the air in the form of sulfur dioxide gas and in the bodies of organisms as a constituent of protein.

The sulfur cycle starts from the soil, when sulfate ions are absorbed by the roots and metabolized into protein constituents in the plant body. When animals and humans eat plants, the protein will move into the human body. From within the human body, sulfur compounds undergo metabolism, the remains of which are broken down by bacteria in the stomach in the form of gas. One of the substances contained in the gas is sulfur.

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Sulfur is abundant in the earth’s crust. Sulfur can be absorbed by plants in the form of sulfate. Sulfur is required in the synthesis of protein compounds. Sulfate in the soil is absorbed by plants, then used for protein synthesis. Through the food chain sulfur moves to consumers. If the organism dies, the sulfur compounds in the organism will decompose aerobically to form sulfate again, and if the decomposition takes place anaerobically it will produce sulfur and sulfide gas.

Sulfur and sulfide gas also comes from the results of anaerobic reduction of sulfate compounds by sulfur-reducing bacteria. By sulfur bacteria, sulfur and sulfide gases in the air are oxidized to produce sulfur, then sulfur is further oxidized to form sulfate in the soil. The process of sulfur occurring as a result of the burning of coal fossil fuels or occurs as a result of volcanic activity, then the smoke will rise into the atmosphere, or the sulfur oxide air will be in the clouds which become hydrolidids in water to form H2SO4, the clouds will experience condensation which will eventually rain is known as acid rain.

The rain water will enter the soil where it will be converted into sulfates which are very important for plants. Sulfate is only found in inorganic form (SO42-), this sulfate is able to move from the earth or nature to the plant body through the absorption of sulfate by roots. Sulfur will be reduced by bacteria to become sulfide and form sulfur dioxide or hydrogen sulfide.

In studying other mineral forms you can find, Sinaumed’s can make the book Why? Rock and Minerals as a reference because it explains the types, uses and much more.


The presence of phosphorus in living organisms is very small, but its role is very necessary. Phosphorus atoms are only found in the form of phosphate compounds (PO43-). Phosphates are absorbed by plants and used for organic synthesis. Phosphorus is mostly contained in nucleic acids, which are materials that store and translate the genetic code.

Role and Reproduction of Chrysophyta Phosphorus atoms are also the basis for the high-energy ATP (Adenosine Tri Phosphate) used for cellular respiration and photosynthesis. In addition, it is a mineral that makes up bones and teeth. Phosphorus is a very rare component in non-living organisms. The productivity of terrestrial ecosystems can be increased if the phosphorus in the soil is increased. The weathering of rock by phosphate will increase the phosphate content in the soil.

An example is the effects of acid rain. After producers incorporate phosphorus into a biological form, phosphorus is transferred to consumers in organic form. Thereafter, phosphorus is added back to the soil through excretion of phosphate by animals and detritus-decomposing bacteria. Humus and soil particles bind to phosphate in such a way that the phosphorus cycle is localized in the ecosystem. However, phosphorus can easily be carried away by the flow of water which eventually collects in the sea.

Erosion that occurs will accelerate the depletion of phosphate in addition to rock weathering which is in line with the loss of phosphate. Phosphate in the oceans slowly collects in sediments which are then incorporated into rocks. When the sea level drops or the sea floor rises, these phosphorus-containing rocks become part of the terrestrial ecosystem. Cytoplasmic Cell Organelles Thus, phosphate cycles among soil, plants, and consumers over time.


The Biogeochemical Cycle functions as a material cycle that returns all chemical elements that have been used by everything on earth, both biotic and abiotic components, so that survival on earth can be maintained.

  • Carbon Cycle: An example of the carbon cycle is an element that is necessary and most important for life on earth. The process of producing carbon causes organisms to decompose in the earth, which then rises to the surface of the earth to become food for the bottom layer
  • Oxygen Cycle: Describes the delivery of oxygen around the lithosphere, atmosphere and biosphere. In particular the release of oxygen through photosynthesis, and in the use of oxygen by living things in the biosphere is taken from the atmosphere.
  • Water Cycle: Describes the accumulation of water on earth, especially in the seas, rivers and lakes. As an important part of the existing ecosystem, rivers, lakes and seas have various functions that you can learn about in the book Science World – Ocean Ocean Rivers.

Thus a review of the Definition, Types and Examples of Biogeochemical Cycles. Hope this is useful Sinaumed’s, enjoy learning!