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Nitrogen Cycle. What did the Nitrogen molecule call the nerdish Oxygen molecule?. -An Oxymoron. What is Nitrogen?. It is an element. Can be found in many forms and is crucial for all life’s existence Proteins DNA (so it’s a good thing we have it).

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nitrogen cycle

Nitrogen Cycle

What did the Nitrogen molecule call the nerdish Oxygen molecule?

-An Oxymoron

what is nitrogen
What is Nitrogen?
  • It is an element
  • Can be found in many forms and is crucial for all life’s existence
    • Proteins
    • DNA
    • (so it’s a good thing we have it)
where can we find nitrogen

N2 gas is useless to most living organisms

Where can we find Nitrogen?
  • Where is nitrogen most abundant?
    • In the atmosphere as N2 gas
    • Makes up 78% of the atmosphere
losing or gaining
Losing or Gaining
  • Nitrogen seems to be collecting in certain areas of our ecosystem (fertilizers)
where did it come from
Where did it come from?
  • All the nitrogen on Earth has always been there. It has always been recycled in the nitrogen Cycle.
  • Humans are now taking nitrogen from certain areas and moving it to a different reservoir in the cycle(This can lead to problems)
  • Nitrogen helps plants grow (sometimes too much!!!)
  • Nitrogen can run off into lakes and streams with H20
  • Excessive plant/bacteria growth can occur

Excessive bacteria or plant life can us up all the oxygen in the lake and suffocate other aquatic life

the 4 steps
The 4 Steps
  • Nitrogen Fixation

Atmosphere N2 NH4

  • Decay

Dead organic things NH4

  • Nitrification

NH4useable nitrates (NO2-1)

  • Denitrofication

nitrates (NO2-1) Atmosphere N2

nitrogen fixation
Nitrogen Fixation
  • N2 gas looks like
  • Lot’s of energy to break bonds and transform N2 into ammonia NH4
    • Lightning
    • Industry (600 C)
    • Bacteria
  • These methods are able to take N2 in the atmosphere and transform it into NH4


  • Living organisms die and their nitrogen gets converted into ammonia with the help of Bacteria



  • Nitrifying Bacteria in the soil convert ammonia to more usable nitrates (NO2-1)
  • Ultimately nitrogen must be replaced in the atmosphere
  • Denitrifying bacteria are able to break down