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Iron cycle

 In ecology or geoscience, the iron cycle is the biogeochemical cycle of iron through landforms, the atmosphere, and oceans. The iron cycle affects dust deposition and aerosol iron bioavailability..

Iron (Fe26) is a chemical element with the symbol Fe (Latin: ferrum) and atomic number 26. Iron is a group 8 and period 4 metal. Iron is a lustrous, silvery soft metal. Iron and nickel are notable for being the final elements produced by stellar nucleosynthesis, and thus are the heaviest elements which do not require a supernova or similarly cataclysmic event for formation. Iron and nickel are therefore the most abundant metals in metallic meteorites and in the dense-metal cores of planets such as Earth.

Iron in natural form comes from the soil, which in turn, are eventually absorbed by plants, which it uses for it to live. Iron is very abundant in the environment especially among rocks and soil.

Animals also need iron to sustain the effectiveness of hemoglobin, a compound that carries oxygen through the body. A lack of iron in the diet results in a disease called anemia.

As soon as organisms die, the decomposers will break down essential nutrients from the body, including iron, back to the soil. The process is then repeated.


  1. Jickells, T. D. & An, Z. S. & Andersen, K. K. & Baker, A. R. & Bergametti, G. & Brooks, N. & Cao, J. J. & Boyd, P. W. & Duce, R. A. & Hunter, K. A. & Kawahata, H. & Kubilay, N. & laRoche, J. & Liss, P. S. & Mahowald, N. & Prospero, J. M. Ridgwell, A. J. & Tegen, I. & Torres, R. (2005, April 1). Global iron connections between desert dust, ocean biogeochemistry, and climate. In Science, 308, 67 – 71.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Iron_cycle". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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