Explain nitrogen cycle.
Sure, here is an explanation of the nitrogen cycle, listed in point form:
- Nitrogen fixation
- Atmospheric nitrogen (N2) is converted into ammonia (NH3) or nitrate (NO3-) by certain bacteria, lightning, and human activities, such as fertilizer application
- Ammonia is converted into nitrite (NO2-) and then nitrate (NO3-) by bacteria in the soil
- Plants absorb nitrate and ammonia from the soil and use it to build proteins and other organic compounds
- Decomposer bacteria break down organic nitrogen, such as proteins and nucleic acids, into ammonium (NH4+)
- Certain bacteria convert nitrate back into N2 gas, which is released into the atmosphere
The nitrogen cycle is an important process for maintaining soil fertility and plant growth. Human activities, such as fertilizer application and industrial processes, can disrupt the balance of the nitrogen cycle and lead to environmental problems, such as eutrophication, acid rain, and greenhouse gas emissions.