The study of biosphere is called biogeography. Biosphere is a life supporting layer which surrounds Earth and makes plant and animal life possible. It includes all living organisms, and air, water, and soil that they depend on. Biosphere is a complex and interconnected system that plays a vital role in maintaining the planet’s overall health and balance.
The biosphere is made up of a variety of different components that interact to support life on Earth. These components can be broadly divided into two categories: biotic and abiotic.
- Biotic components are living organisms, such as plants, animals, and microorganisms. These organisms are the base of the food chain and are responsible for most of the energy flow and nutrient cycling within the biosphere. They play a crucial role in maintaining the balance of the ecosystem.
- Abiotic components are non-living components of the environment, such as soil, water, air, and sunlight. These are the physical and chemical factors that shape the environment and provide the necessary resources for life to exist.
Together, biotic & abiotic components form ecosystems, which are the basic unit of the biosphere. An ecosystem is composed of living organisms and their physical environment interacting together. Biosphere is composed of many ecosystems, each with its own unique characteristics, but all connected and dependent on one another.
In summary, the biosphere is made up of living organisms and their non-living environment, interacting together to support the diversity of life on Earth.
Biogeochemical cycles refer to movement of chemical elements and compounds through biosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, and geosphere. These cycles are important for maintaining the balance of the Earth’s environment and support the existence of life.
IMPORTANT BIOGEOCHEMICAL CYCLES
Carbon cycle: This cycle involves the movement of carbon through the atmosphere, oceans, and biosphere. Carbon is absorbed by plants during photosynthesis and then passed on through food chain. Carbon is also released back into atmosphere through respiration and decomposition of organic matter.
Water cycle: This cycle involves movement of water through atmosphere, oceans, and land. Water evaporates from surface of Earth (also transpiration), forms clouds, and then falls back to the surface as precipitation.
Nitrogen cycle: This cycle involves movement of nitrogen through atmosphere, soil, and living organisms. Nitrogen is converted into different forms by microorganisms and is then taken up by plants and passed on through food chain. Nitrogen is also returned to atmosphere through denitrification.
Phosphorous cycle: This cycle involves movement of phosphorous through soil, water, and living organisms. Phosphorus is an essential nutrient for plants and is returned to soil through decomposition of organic matter.
Sulphur cycle: This cycle involves movement of sulphur through the atmosphere, soil, and living organisms. Sulfur is an essential nutrient for some microorganisms and plants, and is returned to the atmosphere through the release of sulfur dioxide.
All these cycles are interconnected, and any change in one cycle can affect the others. The biogeochemical cycles are important to sustain the life on Earth and maintain the balance of the ecosystem.