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Biology: The Unity and Diversity o...

15th Edition
Cecie Starr + 3 others
ISBN: 9781337408332

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BuyFindarrow_forward

Biology: The Unity and Diversity o...

15th Edition
Cecie Starr + 3 others
ISBN: 9781337408332
Textbook Problem
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Scientists study bubbles trapped in ancient glacial ice to determine how concentrations of nitrogen and carbon dioxide gas have changed over time. However, bubbles in glacial ice cannot provide information about changes in phosphorus. Explain why air samples are not useful for this purpose, and propose an alternative method to study how the amount of phosphorus in a region has changed over time.

Summary Introduction

To propose: An alternative method to study how the amount of phosphorus in a region has changed over time.

Concept introduction: Earth’s crust is the largest reservoir of phosphorus that is an element that does not occur as a gas in any significant quantity. In the phosphorous cycle, phosphorus passes quickly through food webs as it moves from land to ocean sediments, then back to the lands.

Explanation

Atoms of phosphorus are highly reactive, so phosphorus does not occur naturally in its elemental form. Most of the earth’s phosphorus is bonded to oxygen molecule as phosphate (PO43-). Little amount of phosphorus exists in a gaseous form, and its major reservoir is sedimentary rock...

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