GARY HINCKS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY GARY HINCKS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Phosphorus cycle diagram. Diagram illustrating the global phosphorus cycle (red arrows). Phosphorus is an element that is essential for the biochemistry of both plants and animals. It is found in rocks, seawater, and soils in the form of phosphate minerals and ions. Erosion, defecation, and decay add phosphates to the soil (centre). Plant growth and soil leaching remove it from the soil. Animal consumption (top) removes it from plants, while decay leads to fungal growth (lower left). Phosphates in ocean sediments (over millions of years) end up in rocks found on land (lower left). Various parts of this cycle are termed organic and inorganic.
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