All nutrient cycles have once sequence:
- Nutrient is taken up by producers as simple, inorganic molecules.
- Producer incorporates nutrient into complex organic molecules.
- When the producer is eaten, the nutrient passes into consumers.
- Nutrient then passes onto secondary, tertiary or quaternary consumers.
- When the producers and consumers die, their complex molecules are broken down by decomposers that release the nutrient in its original simple form.