The carbon cycle is cycling of absorption and utilization of carbon from abiotic and biotic factors and vice versa in nature in a continuous process.
Sources Of Carbon:
- Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide (CO2)
- Fossil Fuels like gasoline, coal, etc.
- Calcium Carbonate (CaCO3) in Skeleton and Shells.
Significance Of Carbon Cycle:
- Infrastructure of Living Body: Since carbon can form long-chain compounds like polysaccharides, lipids, etc. it composes the cells & almost the whole body.
- Balance the Ecosystem: The carbon cycle fulfills the need for carbon in the biotic world and thus balances the ecosystem.
Processes Involved In a Carbon Cycle:
- Carbon Fixation:
Process of absorption or utilization of atmospheric carbon dioxide or carbon by plants is carbon fixation. It is carriedd out by process of photosynthesis.
Photosynthesis is the process of formation of foodd i.e. glucose by green plants in presence of air, sunlight, water, minerals, etc & Chlorophyll.
Reaction Involved: 6 H20 + 6 CO2 ---------> C6H12O6 + 6 O2
- Carbon Assimilation:
The process of absorption and utilization of carbon by animals is called carbon assimilation. In animals, carbon is used in form of fats, glucose, polysaccharides, etc.
- Carbon Release:
a. Respiration: Some amount of carbon is released back to the atmosphere through respiration by animals and plants.
b. Decomposition: Some amount of Carbon present in dead bodies of plants and animals is released back due to process of decomposition.
c. Fossilization; combustion: Sometimes, dead bodies of organisms do not decompose but instead they get buried under the soil for longer duration. Due to high temperature and pressure, they are converted into fossil fuels. This process is called fossilization.
Carbon from the fossil fuels is released into the atmosphere due to combustion.
d. Sedimentation; Erosion/volcanic eruption: The calcium carbonate (CaCO3) present in the shells and skeleton of the organisms get deposited in the bedrocks as sediments. They are released back to the atmosphere due to erosion or volcanic eruption.