Chapter 26 Summary - M icrobes, though microscopic in size,...

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Microbes, though microscopic in size, have enormous effects on the world around us. From the air to the surface, to the oceans, microorganisms affect Earth’s components, materials, and function. The minerals that microbes come in contact in with during metabolism create reactions (primarily oxidation and reduction reactions) that can affect the composition of gases in the atmosphere, development of soils, and the composition of water. One method in which microorganisms affect the Earth is through biogeochemical cycling. Microbes utilize various elements and minerals that contribute to the Earth’s atmosphere. One example of this phenomena falls under the category of carbon cycling. During ruminant digestion, microbes within the rumen/reticulum area of a ruminant’s (cows, sheep, goats) stomach produce excess carbon upon digestion starch. The excess carbon then binds with available hydrogen molecules to produce CH4, or methane gas. The gas is then released into the air by way of burping. A similar process occurs within the appendix/large intestine of humans. Other cycles occur with other elements/nutrients such as Nitrogen, Iron, and Phosphorus. In each, the microbes utilize the element for their
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This note was uploaded on 10/19/2010 for the course BIO 347 taught by Professor Primm during the Fall '10 term at Sam Houston State University.

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Chapter 26 Summary - M icrobes, though microscopic in size,...

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