Critical Nutrients Pathways in the Ecosystems

It's the sun that shines through the day.  The day when a human being sweats,  shading water, and mineral salts that nourish one's life. The water and mineral salts, a human being will work for.  Waiting for the rain, to till the land, feed animals, and fish again in the rivers, lakes, and oceans of the earth.

Termites eating wood
Termites eat wood, recycling nutrients into the ecosystem's flow.

We work to ensure the flow of nutrients in the ecosystems, though we don't know that we contribute a lot to the well-being of the ecosystems. The nutrients are elements that are essential for plant growth. They include nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K), calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), sulfur (S), and silicon (Si). N, P, and K are considered primary nutrients. 


The guardian of the natural flow of nutrients.

The Sun is the guardian of life on Earth. The energy from the sun is shared through various means. Food chains, rain, and there le. Light and heat from the sun bring wind, drought, and rainy seasons. Hence, ensuring the critical nutrient flow in the ecosystems.

Moreover, to humans, it's like a seasonal as well as a tireless daily termite's work around a cycle of nutrients.  Breaking down wooden matter, mixing it up with soil to enrich and nourish the plants. Plant soil interactions nutrient uptake.

Foodstuff is with minerals,  proteins, carbohydrates, fats, and vitamins. These are the nutrients our bodies need for growth, repair, energy,  reproduction, and immunity strengthening to fight against diseases. Navigation from one process of life to another 
 needs cellular respiration and another critical process that produces energy and nonessential proteins our bodies need. Nutrient Sensing Mechanisms and Pathways

Gaining energy and nutrients may take a process from critical nutrient flow to essential nutrients to cellular absorbed nutrients. It takes a critical process from light energy from the sun to starch and other forms of nutrients by plants in a critical process of photosynthesis and so on. Also, herbivores get that energy from the sun by eating leaves and grasses and then feeding the carnivores.

That chain is not possible without a biodegradation aid of micro-organisms such as bacteria, and other organisms like fungi,  worms, ants, termites, beetles and so on which do break down the dead matter into the smallest units of nutrients in the soil to feed roots of plants with minerals required. 

To these living things, death is a means through which life on the planet Earth thrives upon. Hunting and preying on others as well as feeding on dead matter.

Ecosystems cycle to process and exchange biochemical nutrients such as nitrogen, calcium, phosphorus,  iron-sulfur, and even other life's key elements such as oxygen, hydrogen, and carbon.

The right chemicals and enzymes in the right condition and proportions make life a miracle possibility. The signature to life's key ingredients starts life and expires life. Then, another reaction that supports life is the initiative of existence and degradation of another material matter.

Floods from rain allow the breaking down of essential mineral salts that living things need so much for their critical life processes like building bones, growth, and reproduction.

The light from the sun is shared in turns of nights and days which keeps life on alertness and at rest. The land drains water and mineral salts to oceans, lakes, and rivers which are shared by plants, animals, and aquatic life. The sky harbors air, and water vapor as well as droplets, which in turn quench the land.


Challenges to the natural setting of life.

Nutrients have indirect unfavorable effects on aquatic communities through their effects on primary production and the growth and accumulation of aquatic plants. Nutrients also influence species like phytoplankton in lakes, periphyton in streams, and so on.

When the nutrients accumulate in the water bodies they become harmful to the entire ecosystem. The nutrients from the sewage systems, industries, and farm fertilizer do stress the ecosystems. Therefore killing fishes, destroying the aquatic plants, and changing the entire ecosystem. Pathways, Mechanisms, and Consequences of Nutrient-Stimulated Plant Litter Decomposition in Streams.

Plastic rubbishes and other harmful substances such as oil spills on land and water bodies endanger and harm the lives of worms, bacteria, plants, animals, etc.

Therefore posing a challenge to environmental safety to life. The natural flow of nutrients in the ecosystem is at a risk due to the introduction of harmful non-degradable materials on land, in rivers, lakes, and oceans. Plastics are not degradable materials they contribute to the pollution of the natural environment. Plastics and the microbiome: impacts and solutions.

In nature, there are no longer a natural flow of the ecosystems but blockage and alternating of the entire system posing climatic challenges, food shortage, drought, and loss of natural habitat and biodiversity.

The good news, is currently scientists are working on the possibility of reducing the amount of plastic rubbishes in our environment and oceans by using a fungi species known as mycelium to bio-enzymatic degrade plastic rubbishes or simply eating the plastic. 

The study shows that exposing the plastic materials to the sun helps to initiate a conducive condition for the fungus to act upon.

This may reduce the number of nonbiodegradable substances in our surroundings. In addition introduction of biodegradable materials and proper disposal as well as recycling of plastics is of great help in restoring the natural flow of nutrients in the ecosystem.

Although human life revolves and evolves around changes to include human-driven changes in the ecosystem, we aren't separate from the hope of the wellbeing and renewal of the entire ecosystem and its pathways. 

We are part of the nutrients flow. If we change the way we treat our environment on daily basis, we shall have a complete positive change in the lives of many living species.

Beginning, ending, and renewal are the basic pathways of life on the planet Earth.  Life comes,  ends, and begins again in critical processes and phases. As life species, we always begin, live, pair to copy ourselves in rebirth then expire. The energy of life is in a constant continuation. That is a sign of an eternal miracle of life and beauty.

So, when we eat,  work and sleep, we keep the constant race of time through nutrients and energy of life. Who lives now nourishes life with a hope for tomorrow's certainties and uncertainties. 

Take a plate of food. Dream of an unborn day, while looking at the sky touching the land in the wind and light that brings the day.


Reference

Efeyan, A., Comb, W. C., & Sabatini, D. M. (2015). Nutrient-sensing mechanisms and pathways. Nature, 517(7534), 302–310. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature14190

Morgan, J. B. & Connolly, E. L. (2013) Plant-Soil Interactions: Nutrient Uptake. Nature Education Knowledge 4(8):2

Manning, David & Ferreira, Verónica & Gulis, Vladislav & Rosemond, Amy. (2021). Pathways, Mechanisms, and Consequences of Nutrient-Stimulated Plant Litter Decomposition in Streams. 10.1007/978-3-030-72854-0_16. 

Lear, G., Kingsbury, J.M., Franchini, S. et al. Plastics and the microbiome: impacts and solutions. Environmental Microbiome 16, 2 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1186/s40793-020-00371-w



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20 Comments

Thank you for reading. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Also, I’d be very grateful if you’d help it spread by emailing it to a friend, or sharing it on Twitter or Facebook. Thank you!

  1. Nicely Done. Pretty Inspiring piece, I must say .. we all are part of the chain, on top of which is the sun, bringing life...

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