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WHAT IS NITROGEN? • Nitrogen is a naturally occurring element that is essential for growth and reproduction in both plants and animals. It is found in amino acids that make up proteins, in nucleic acids, that comprise the hereditary material and life’s blueprint for all cells, and in many other organic and inorganic compounds. In addition, nitrogen comprises about 80% of the Earth's atmosphere.
NITROGEN CYCLE • Thenitrogen cycle is the process by which nitrogen is converted between its various chemical forms. • Animals, and other living things that do not make their food, depend on the nitrogen cycle indirectly. Most animals, for example, eat plants or eat plant-eating animals. • The nitrogen cycle consists of four natural processes: nitrogen fixation, nitrification, denitrification, and decay.
PROCESSES • Nitrogen Fixation is the process in which nitrogen gas from the air is continuously made into nitrogen compounds. • Nitrificationis the process in which ammonia in the soil is converted to nitrates • Denitrificationis the reverse of the combined processes of nitrogen fixation and nitrification. • Decay Processes are those by which the organic nitrogen compounds of dead organisms and waste material are returned to the soil.