Get complete information on the carbon cycle


Carbon is one of the most basic components in nature. It is also present in living organisms. The source of Carbon are two:- a) gaseous form (CO2) in air and b) dissolved form in water. The gaseous carbon is fixed in living organisms (Primary Producers-green plants) during photosynthesis. From the producers, carbon is shifted to primary consumers (herbivores), secondary consumers (carnivores) and to decomposers. The decomposers return the carbon to the abiotic environment.

CO2 is present in air in minute quantities (0.03 to 0.04%). In spite of its absorption by green plants, the level is maintained because of its regular return to the environment by decomposers and other agents. In nature there is a dynamic balance between carbon consumers (green plants) and carbon producers decomposing bacteria, fungi etc. Carbon is returned to the envi­ronment by the following ways.

1) Respiratory activity of green plants, bacteria and other micro organisms.


2) Death and decay of organisms.

3) Combustion of carbon based fuel.

The oceans also play a prominent role in the maintenance of carbon balance in nature. In the form of carbonates and bicarbonates, the oceans contain thirty to forty times carbon than is present in the atmosphere. There is also equilibrium between the carbon content of ocean and atmosphere.

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