The Biogeochemical Cycles of the Elements
O'Connor, Leland Y.
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The biogeochemical cycles of the elements are rooted in acid/base geochemical reactions and in biologically facilitated redox reactions. In particular, the redox transformations within elemental cycling through the biosphere are facilitated by microbial metabolic pathways. Many transition metals such as V, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, Mo, W play important roles in biology. Several of these transition metals within metalloenzymes catalyse many of the common redox transformations in the biogeochemical cycling of elements. This literature review explores the biogeochemical cycles of the biologically significant elements (H, C, O, N, P, S, K, B,Si, Se, Cl, Mo, Fe, Mn,) and the roles of microbial pathways and metalloenzymes in facilitating them. Due to the increasing risks of water contamination, the biogeochemical cycle of arsenic is also reviewed. This literature review also looks at how the evolution of microbial pathways and the elemental abundances have affected each other in the evolution of biogeochemical cycling.