Difference Between Seasonality and Cycles

Seasonality vs Cycles

The absolute meanings of the two terms Seasonality and Cycles are broad, but the biological sense of seasonality and cycles could be understood with a close relationship. Seasonality could be directly taken into consideration as the famous four climatic seasons and the subsequent changes that are important for the biotic component of the Earth. On the other hand, the main nutrient and climatic cycles have direct influences on the biotic matter. Both seasonality and cycles do have a direct relationship with sunlight as it is the main cause for all the seasons and cycles.


The Earth is a planet of the solar system and all the planets travel around the sun on a definite track due to the gravitational properties of the sun. Additionally, the Earth itself rotates around its own axis while travelling around the sun. One such rotation of the earth around its own axis is called a day, and a complete turn around the sun is called a year. As a year takes place, four different climatic seasons could be experienced, especially for the temperate countries. Spring, Summer, Autumn (aka Fall), and Winter are those four seasons that take place in each year due to the famous tilt of the Earth at an angle of 23.50. These seasons are highly different from each other in many properties. However, there are only two seasons, rainy and dry, in tropical countries that are close to the equator.

All these climatic seasons have a serious influence on the biotic world, and all the biological species readily wait to follow each season as they have adapted their biological processes according to the climatic seasonality. As an example, most of the animals in temperate countries hibernate or migrate to other places in winter. Many animals get ready to give birth during the rainy season in tropics. Plants shed their leaves to weather the winters, and regrow those in the spring to accept sunlight in the summer for photosynthesis. There are umpteen number of biological processes related with the climatic seasonality, and these all occur in recurring, cyclic manner.


Cycles are anything that takes place in a recurring manner. One of the most renowned cycles would be the Earth’s cycles along its own axis and around the sun (known as days and years respectively). Based on these prolific cycles, takes place all the other cycles, which are important to sustain the life. The life on Earth has been based on Carbon, Hydrogen, and Oxygen (aka CHO); hence, the cycles of these basic elements are highly important for life on Earth. Additionally, the cycling of other nutrients (such as Nitrogen) is also important for the sustenance of the life. Reproductive cycles, fruiting cycles, menstrual cycle, life cycle, and many other biological cycles are taking place on earth; each of those has its own cycling frequency. Most of those frequencies are related to annual cycling patterns.

The sun has been the powerhouse that provides energy to run all the cycles in the world. However, one of the most important facts about cycles would be that each cycle is interrelated with most of the others. If one natural pattern were affected, then all the other related cycles would be disturbed; environmental pollution is one such related effect that, as a result, almost all the natural cycles being disturbed.

What is the difference between Seasonality and Cycles?

Based on the view of people, seasonality and cycles may or may not have differences from each other, especially when the broad view is considered. However, the climatic seasons are much different from the cycles but highly related with each other.

• Seasonality changes the climatic factors of the environment while cycles have been naturally designed to harvest the maximum use of those seasons.

• Seasonality is an annual process as the most cycles are, but usually the nutrient cycles may not be annual.