Nitrogen is required by living things to:

1. make proteins, become enzymes and make up the structures of living things
2. make nucleic acids that become DNA, the hereditary material of living things

– 80% of the air around us is nitrogen gas (N2) but N2 cannot be used by most living things
– N2 must be converted into nitrate ions (NO3) for living things to be able to use nitrogen

Nitrogen Cycle

– begins with nitrogen fixation; nitrogen gas is converted into nitrates

Lightning

– can fix nitrogen; N2 reacts with O2 -> NO3
– accounts for only a very small amount of total nitrogen fixation in the ecosystem
Bacteria (some) – located in soil and in nodules on the roots of legume plants
– accounts for the vast majority of nitrogen fixation in an ecosystem

Decomposers (bacteria)

– break down animal waste nitrogen (NH3) and nitrogen trapped in the dead bodies of living things
– these bacteria require oxygen to live
– this is why farmers add manure or dead matter to their crops/plants

READ:
The Endocrine System: Function and Structure

Denitrification

– lose of nitrates in the form of nitrogen gas
– done by bacteria that do not require oxygen
– ensures a balance within the nitrogen cycle; nitrate levels in soil that are too high may be bad for the plants in an ecosystem
– sped up by very acid or water-logged soils

Help Us Fix his Smile with Your Old Essays, It Takes Seconds!

-We are looking for previous essays, labs and assignments that you aced!

-We will review and post them on our website.
-Ad revenue is used to support children in developing nations.
-We help pay for cleft palate repair surgeries through Operation Smile and Smile Train.

Cite this article as: William Anderson (Schoolworkhelper Editorial Team), "The Nitrogen Cycle," in SchoolWorkHelper, 2019, https://schoolworkhelper.net/the-nitrogen-cycle/.
guest
1 Comment
Newest
OldestMost Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
nitrogen gas
nitrogen gas
9 years ago

Atmospheric air contains 78.09% nitrogen, the gas is slightly lighter than air and slightly soluble in water.