Skip to main content

Search from vocabulary

Content language

Concept information

Preferred term



  • [Henderson's] n. the phosphate anion PO34– or a salt of phosphoric acid (e.g. potassium phosphate, K3PO4). Phosphates are essen­tial to the metabolism of living organisms because inorganic phosphate is required for the synthesis of the energy-storage molecule ATP. Plants and microorganisms take up phosphorus mainly in the form of phosphates, and various phosphates are used as fertilizers. Excess phosphate washed into streams and lakes contributes to eutrophication and the formation of algal blooms. see also phosphorus cycle, phosphoryl group.

Broader concept

Entry terms

  • PO4

Scope note

  • US LTER controlled vocabulary



In other languages


Download this concept:

RDF/XML TURTLE JSON-LD Created 3/31/16, last modified 12/18/18