When describing biogeochemical transfers, textbook authors have often overstated the role of soil while neglecting the role of carbon dioxide. Unfortunately, these errors align with naive biogeochemical intuitions. This article aims to increase awareness of the prevalence of such misconceptions and offers countermeasures. Avoiding these misconceptions becomes increasingly important as concerns over carbon emissions grow. In addition, because an accurate understanding of biogeochemical cycles can transform deeply held beliefs, successfully teaching this topic can have the collateral benefit of inspiring lasting interest in science.

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