Nitrogen Cycle

Definition - What does Nitrogen Cycle mean?

The nitrogen cycle is the biochemical cycle through which nitrogen is converted to various forms as it passes from the atmosphere to the soil and eventually to marine and terrestrial plants. Several important processes occur in the nitrogen cycle, including fixation, nitrification, denitrification, and ammonification.

The nitrogen cycle is vital for plant nutrition, because without this cycle plants are unable to synthesize protein.

MaximumYield explains Nitrogen Cycle

Although the major constituent of the air we breathe is nitrogen, plants cannot take nitrogen directly from the air. Through the processes of nitrification and assimilation, plants can obtain an adequate amount of nitrogen in the form of nitrate.

Nitrogen goes through various forms in the nitrogen cycle. Each of its many forms is necessary to maintain a balance in the ecosystem. For plants, nitrogen is the most in demand nutrient. The majority of the nitrogen in the soil exists as organic matter and is relatively immobile. When the organic matter breaks down, it releases ammonia. The ammonia in turn is converted into nitrate by microorganisms. Nitrate is a mobile form of nitrogen and is easily accessible by plants.

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