How materials are cycled in an ecosystem

It is reasonably likely that you have some carbon atoms in your body that were once inside Charles Darwin, Marie Curie or any other long dead individual. Atoms exist in different forms or compounds at different times in history and cycle between them.

Many different materials cycle through the abiotic and biotic components of an ecosystem.

Flow diagram of how different materials cycle through the ecosystem

In a stable community the processes which remove materials are balanced by processes which return materials.