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  Section: Introduction to Botany » Ecology
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Natural Recycling

  Plant Ecology
  The Global-Warming Controversy
  Ecological Interrelationships
  Natural Recycling
  Plant Succession

Recycling is another facet of ecology. Plant material built up by photosynthetic activity is broken down by the reverse processes of respiration and decomposition (which is respiration of microorganisms). Plant materials that came from the ground and atmosphere are thereby recycled and returned to the environment. The cycle is one of composition and decomposition. The decomposers are mainly fungi and bacteria. Each year 80 billion tons of carbon dioxide enter into the cycle by land plants, and 600 billion tons of carbon dioxide are processed in the oceans by mostly one-celled algae. Thus, nine-tenths of the world’s photosynthesis occurs in the seas.


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