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Nitrogen Cycle

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Kristin Howell

on 21 April 2010

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Transcript of Nitrogen Cycle

Nitrogen Cycle Nitrogen Cycle Nitrogen is essential to all living systems, which makes it one of the Earth's most important nutrient cycles. Nitrogen, "fixed" as ammonia and nitrates, is used directly by plants and is incorporated in their tissues as plant proteins. The nitrogen then passes through the food chain from plants to herbivores to carnivores. When plants and animals die, the nitrogenous compounds are broken down by decomposing into ammonia. Some of this ammonia is taken up by plants. The rest is dissolved in water or held in the soil, where microorganisms convert it into nitrates and nitrites. Nitrates may be stored in decomposing humus or leached from the soil and carried to streams and lakes. They may also be converted to free nitrogen through denitrification and returned to the atmosphere.
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