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Nitrogen

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Submitted By jokiemay
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Nitrogen is a big part of Earth’s atmosphere. In fact, nitrogen makes up 78 percent of our air. Nitrogen is extremely important in living things. It forms the building blocks of life, because amino acids; constituent of proteins and nucleic acids; constituent of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid), would not have existed without nitrogen.(1) We need proteins because they make up our skin and hair. Proteins also help us digest food. We get our nitrogen from plants, and plants get it from bacteria in the soil. Our atmosphere provides life with the nitrogen it needs.
In the atmosphere, Nitrogen exists as a very stable molecule, N2, which is not used by plants and animals. It is an essential element for plant growth and development and a key agricultural input, but in excess it can lead to a host of problems for human and ecological health. (2) Across the globe, distribution of fertilizer nitrogen is very uneven, with some areas subject to nitrogen pollution and others suffering from reduced soil fertility, diminished crop production, and other consequences of inadequate supply. (2)

The nitrogen cycle is one of the important systems for living things as it is a continuous series of natural processes by which Nitrogen passes from the air to the soil, to plants, and ultimately to sustain all animal life, and then returns back to the air or soil through decay or de-nitrification(3).

In a natural ecosystem bacteria called Diazotrophs take nitrogen out of the air and change it into ammonia in the soil, this process can be either biological or abiotic and is known as Nitrogen Fixation.(6)

Those nutrients help plants grow. When animals eat plants, they also eat the nitrogen inside the plants. The animals return nitrogen to the soil through their waste. Plants and animals also return nitrogen into the soil with their bodies when they die. The cycle is completed when other…...

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