Empty Outline 3:  Nutrient (Element) Cycling

Due Sunday

Use Chapter 3 (nutrient cycles – most of the information will be here) and Chapter 20 (global warming) and Chapter 17 (Eutrophication) as References


Outline Grading Criteria:


Nutrient Cycling

1.   Define a nutrient cycle in general terms.  In other words, what does it mean to say that a nutrient is cycling?




 2.  Describe how carbon cycles naturally.





3.  How does the law of conservation of matter apply to the carbon cycle?


4. Why is burning fossil fuel a human influence on the C cycle?



5.  A common topic in maintaining sustainability today is developing alternative fuels. From what you know about the C cycle, why is this true?





5.   What is the relationship between humans influencing the C cycle and global warming?




6.      Define the following terms:

a) nitrogen fixation




b) denitrifying bacteria



  1.  Describe the natural way that nitrogen cycles.   Be sure to define the terms nitrogen fixation and denitrifying bacteria.







8.  What are the human influences on the nitrogen cycle?



9.  Explain the process of eutrophication. 

            a)  Where does the excess nitrogen come from?


            b)  What happens to algae in water with excess nitrogen?


            c) How does this affect the amount of oxygen in the water?


            d) What are the effects of this on living organisms?


            e)  How does the algae growth affect photosynthesis?


f)        What is the relationship between the term eutrophication and the term

                       dead zone’?


10.  How can we combat eutrophication?  Discuss two main ways to do this.



11.  How do ecosystems make sure that there is enough energy for the ecosystem to continue?  What is the energy source for humans besides photosynthesis/sunlight?  What are the impacts of this energy source?  What can we learn from ecosystems?





12.     How do ecosystems make sure that there is enough matter (nutrients) to continue?  How do humans?  Which is successful?