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Cycling of Matter

7.5C Cycling of Matter

TermDefinition
Biomass Material from living or recently living organisms composed of a mixture of organic molecules containing hydrogen, carbon, often nitrogen, and small quantities of other atoms.
Decay The natural process or result of being slowly broken down or decomposed, chiefly by bacteria and fungi.
Decomposers Organisms such as bacteria and fungi that break down the remains of dead plants and animals, without need for internal digestion.
Bacteria A highly diverse group of single-celled, prokaryotic organisms.
Fungi Microorganisms important as decomposers; widely distributed and can break down just about any type of organic matter.
Microorganisms Organisms too small to be seen by the unaided human eye, such as bacteria and fungi.
Detritivore An organism that feeds on and breaks down dead plant or animal matter; includes decomposers (bacteria and fungi) as well as larger organisms such as insects and worms, serving as primary consumers in a food chain.
Water Cycle The movement of water through the atmosphere, the ground, bodies of water, and living things; the continuous movement of water above, on, and below Earth’s surface.
Carbon Cycle The cycle by which carbon is exchanged among the soil, biosphere, lithosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere of the Earth.
Nitrogen Cycle The process by which nitrogen is converted between its various chemical forms as it is exchanged among the soil, biosphere, lithosphere, and atmosphere of the Earth.
Created by: trauberk
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