Nitrogen Cycle Facts

Nitrogen Cycle Facts
Nitrogen is an element that is important to most living things. The nitrogen cycle describes how nitrogen moves through different objects including in the atmosphere and the ground. Because nitrogen must be fixed in order to be used by living things, it rarely exists in its pure form. Bacteria are a very important part of the nitrogen cycle because it helps to change or fix nitrogen into a usable form.
Interesting Nitrogen Cycle Facts:
Plants absorb nitrogen directly from the soil.
Animals get their nitrogen needs met by eating plants or eating animals that eat plants.
There are many steps in the nitrogen cycle including fixation, nitrification, assimilation, ammonification, and denitrification.
Fixation is a process in the nitrogen cycle where bacteria turn nitrogen into ammonium.
After fixation, bacteria uses nitrification to turn ammonium into nitrates which is usable by plants.
Once nitrogen has been fixed, plants can absorb nitrogen through their roots from the soil in a process known as assimilation.
After a plant dies, it decomposes where bacteria turn the nitrogen back into ammonium through a process called ammonification.
During denitrification, special bacteria return extra nitrogen from the soil into the air.
Plants need nitrogen to make chlorophyll which they use during photosynthesis.
Nitrogen is important to animals in many ways including being a part of its DNA and proteins.
Roughly 78% of the atmosphere is made of a non-usable form of nitrogen gas.
Humans alter the nitrogen cycle by using synthetic fertilizers on lawns which adds to much extra nitrogen to the soil.
Nitrous oxide is a greenhouse gas that is in the atmosphere.
Too much nitrous oxide in the atmosphere can cause acid rain.
Nitrogen is used by many farmers as a fertilizer which helps plants grow.

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