Element cycling is the breakdown of organic matter into its constituent elements for re-use in the ecosystem.
The figure at right is a generalized diagram of carbon transformation in wetlands (Mitsch and Gosselink 1993).
Structures that affect element cycling:
- Deep channel
- Emergent marsh
- Mud / sand flats
- Scrub-shrub forest
- Shallow slope
- Submerged aquatic vegetation
Ecosystem functions that are affected by element cycling: