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What is the cycle of substances? The cycle of substances in the ecosystem. Scheme of the cycle of substances in nature

From the very beginning of the existence of our planet, various processes of energy transfer between living organisms and the environment are constantly taking place. It is transformed, goes into other forms, binds and dissipates again. The same can be said for any substance that forms the basis of life. Each of them passes many instances, undergoes multiple changes and eventually returns.

These processes give an idea of what a cycle of substances in nature is. They allow you to trace the movement of not only connections, but also individual elements. We will try to understand this issue in more detail.

General concept of the circulation of substances

What is the cycle of substances? These are cyclical transitions from one form to another, accompanied by partial loss or dispersion, but having a permanent, stable character. That is, any substance or element makes a series of transitions on the steps, while changing and changing, but in the end it still returns to the initial form.

Naturally, over time, there may be partial losses in the amount of the compound or element in question. However, the general scheme is constant and has been preserved for many millennia.

What is the cycle of substances, you can consider an example. The simplest of them is the transformation of organic substances. Initially, they consist of all multicellular living beings. After the completion of their life cycle, their bodies are decomposed by special organisms, and organic compounds are transformed into inorganic ones. After these compounds are absorbed by other beings and within their bodies are again restored to an organic form. Then the process repeats and continues cyclically all the time.

The scheme of the cycle of substances in nature makes it clear that nothing arises from nowhere and does not disappear into anywhere. Everything has its beginning, its end and transitional forms. These are the basic rules of life. They are subject to energy. Consider examples of transformations that occur in ecosystems, living beings. And also we will understand what a cycle of substances is based on one particular element.

Living matter in nature

The most important substance of the biosphere is living. What it is? This is every representative of wildlife. Together they form biomass. It, naturally, undergoes changes, is a participant of all processes taking place in the environment.

The cycle of living matter can be illustrated by an example of the following kind.

  1. The first creatures that directly capture the energy of sunlight and convert it into the energy of chemical bonds are plants, blue-green bacteria. This is due to the chlorophyll pigment in the process of photosynthesis. The result is the synthesis of organic matter from inorganic components. Thus, the first link was formed among the living matter of the biosphere.
  2. Then there are animals that are able to directly eat plants. And also omnivores, to which the person also applies. They consume the first link and transform the organic matter inside themselves into another form - the inorganic.
  3. Herbivorous creatures are eaten by carnivores. So substances are transferred to other organisms.
  4. Next come those organisms that are able to feed on carnivorous forms. Higher predators. They are the final link in the circulation of organic matter. After their withering in the course the following organisms enter.
  5. Detritophages are microorganisms, fungi, protozoa that decompose dead remains of living beings and transfer all substances into an inorganic form.
  6. These compounds (carbon dioxide, water, mineral salts) are used again by plants in the process of creating organic compounds.

Thus, the above scheme of the cycle of substances in nature reflects the transformation of the living component of the biosphere. Everything begins with plants and ends with them. A complete cyclic process that has a mass of branches and complex curls.

The cycle of substances in the ecosystem

Any ecosystem is a whole community of different organisms, united by complex interrelations in the food plan, and also under the influence of similar environmental conditions.

The cycle of substances in the ecosystem is subject to certain environmental laws. So, be sure to strictly subordinate to the supply chain. The exchange of energy, substances, circulation of many elements - all this occurs between individuals within a given ecological group.

In this case, they are divided into several groups:

  • Producers;
  • Consuments of the first order;
  • Second-order consumers;
  • Consuments of the third order;
  • Omnivorous organisms;
  • Decomposers or detritophages.

The scheme of the matter cycle can look something like this:

  • The plant (producer) produces organic matter;
  • A herbivorous animal (a first-order consumer) transforms it into an inorganic and other organic matter;
  • Carnivorous animal (second-order consumer) transforms into another organics;
  • The higher predator (the third-order consumer) again partially dissipates it in the form of heat, and partly concentrates in the form of internal organic substances;
  • Microorganisms, for example bacteria, fungi and others (decomposers or detritophages), decompose dead animal remains and form a mass of inorganic compounds;
  • Plants absorb the inorganic and again create a number of important organic compounds in the process of photosynthesis, that is, they produce.

Ecosystem Substances

Obviously, in one ecosystem in close interaction there are two main types of matter: organic and inorganic. From organic it is:

  • Proteins;
  • Fats;
  • Carbohydrates.

Inorganic compounds are as follows:

  • water;
  • carbon dioxide;
  • Mineral salts;
  • A number of important macroelements.

A very important condition for the normal functioning of any ecosystem is a constant influx of solar energy. After all, plants can carry out photosynthesis only under this condition. In addition, the energy, which is in the chemical bonds of compounds, is dissipated as heat in sufficiently large quantities. Therefore, substances can not circulate in an unchanged state without losses.

Scheme of the cycle of substances in a meadow

Meadow is a special natural community. After all, it has some differences from all others, for example from forestry. What are the differences?

  1. In the meadow, only grass vegetation predominates, consisting of perennial and annual low grasses. At the same time, they differ from each other. More photophilous have a high growth, and those that can live in the shade, low.
  2. There are no large representatives of the animal world within this community. This is due to the fact that they simply have nowhere to hide, because there are no trees.
  3. Periodically during heavy rains, the entire meadow space is flooded with water. Hence their other name - flooded or liquid. In such conditions, not all living beings can exist.

If we talk about the similarities between meadow and forest, for example, the community, we should highlight the main feature: in both territories, representatives of plants, insects, rodents, birds, reptiles, amphibians and mammals live.

Scheme of the cycle of substances in the meadow can have the following form:

  • Mineral substances and water, which is consumed directly from the ground by the plant;
  • Insects that pollinate flowers and allow them to multiply, while feeding on nectar, that is, organic matter produced by the plant;
  • Birds and mammals, eating insects and plants, that is, using organic matter;
  • Microorganisms that decompose dead plant and animal remains and release inorganic substances (mineral salts, water, carbon dioxide).

An example of a meadow cycle

All the links indicated in the example are of great importance. The cycle of substances in the meadow is a necessary condition for the existence of this community. The soil is able to be enriched with useful substances and elements only thanks to the activities of its inhabitants-microorganisms-detritophages, worms, woodworms and other creatures. Without this condition, the plants will lack inorganics for photosynthesis and growth, which means that the organic matter that they produce is in deficit. Such as starch, cellulose, protein and others. This will lead to a reduction in the number of animals and birds, and hence of organic matter in general. In the end, the detritus will suffer, so the cycle will be broken.

The cycle of substances in the meadow can also be illustrated by a more concrete example. Let's try to draw up such a scheme.

  • Mineral salts, water, carbon dioxide, oxygen consumes chamomile pharmacy.
  • The honey bee pollinates the designated plant and eats its pollen, that is, carbohydrates and proteins.
  • The bee-eater and the bee-eater peck the honey bee and consume the organic matter of its body (chitin, protein, carbohydrates).
  • Meadow vole and other small rodents and larger species eat the organic component of plants and insects.
  • Kestrel (bird) eats rodents and consumes nutrients.
  • After death, all animals and insects fall to the ground, where their body is decomposed into compound compounds by the activity of microorganisms, worms, woodworms and other detritophages.
  • As a result, the soil is again saturated with inorganic salts, water and other compounds that absorb the roots of plants.

Chains and power networks

The cycle of substances and energy, as it became clear, is closely related to such an ecological concept as a chain or a power network. After all, any substance is a material, a product that serves as a building material for the formation of structural parts of cells, tissues and organs.

Each food chain inevitably entails cyclic transformations of substances. And any processes of synthesis and decay require the cost or release of energy. Consequently, it is also involved in a single cycle in nature.

Why there are concepts of "chain" and "power network"? The thing is that the relationship between organisms within an ecological group is often much more complicated than just a simple ordinary chain. After all, the same representative of the animal world can be both herbivorous and predator. There are omnivores. In addition, many create a competitive environment for production and livelihoods, which also leaves its imprint on the overall plan of relationships within the biogeocenosis.

In these cases, the chains are closely intertwined and so-called power networks are formed. This is particularly noticeable in the areas inhabited by the inhabitants: forest, lake communities, tropical forests and others.

All supply chains can be divided into two types:

  • Grazing, or pasture;
  • Decomposition, or detrital.

The main difference between them is that in the first case everything starts with a living organism - a plant. In the second - from the dead remains, excrement and other deposits, which are processed by microorganisms, worms and so on.

Energy changes

Energy, like substances, undergoes a number of changes in the course of processes in ecosystems. All of it is divided into two main types:

  • Sunlight;
  • Chemical bonds.

During the construction of power circuits, energy is just passing from one form to another. At the same time, partial losses occur. After all, it is spent on the life processes of each being, dissipated in the form of heat. That is why it is important that the solar energy as a primary source constantly replenish the reserves of any community.

Directly in the form of light from the sun, it can be consumed only by such organisms as:

  • plants;
  • Bacteria;
  • Photosynthetic unicellular.

After them, all energy goes into the next form - the chemical bonds of the compounds. In this form it is consumed by heterotrophic representatives of the biosphere.

The water cycle

We have already indicated that the most important and historically developed life process is a cycle of substances in nature. Water is the inorganic compound, the significance of which is particularly important and large. Therefore, how to proceed its circulation, we will consider in general terms.

  1. A huge amount of water is concentrated on the surface of our planet in water bodies of all kinds. These are the seas and oceans, bogs, rivers, lakes, streams, artificial structures. From their surface there is a constant evaporation of moisture, that is, water in the form of steam passes into the layers of the atmosphere.
  2. The soil, both its outer and inner parts, also contains a lot of moisture. These are underground or groundwater. From the surface of the steam enters the atmosphere, from the inner layers drains into water bodies, and from there evaporates.
  3. Condensation in the atmosphere, the water gradually reaches a maximum and begins to return to the ground in the form of precipitation. In winter it is snow, in summer it is raining.
  4. Plants take an active part in the absorption and transpiration of water, as they carry through a huge amount of water.

Thus, the water cycle and the cycle of substances in nature ensure the normal state of any ecosystem, and hence of organisms.

The study of the cycle of substances in primary school

For children to have an idea of what kind of cyclic changes occur in nature, they should be told about this from the initial stages of education. Children should have knowledge about what is the cycle of substances. Grade 3 is a very suitable time for this. During this period, the children are old enough to fully understand and assimilate this kind of information.

In many educational programs around the world, there is a good "Circulation of substances: class 3" scheme. It reflects the main types of water conversions, substances, food chains that are characteristic of each ecosystem.

An exemplary scheme for the circulation of substances for younger schoolchildren can look like: water and minerals in plants - organic matter in animals - water and mineral salts after the death of plants and animals.

Each stage should be explained with examples and detailed description to form a clear picture of the natural processes taking place.

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