The
Nitrogen Cycle
1. What is nitrogen?
1. Nitrogen is a non-metal, gaseous element.
2. Where is nitrogen found
in the environment?
2. The largest single source of nitrogen is in the
atmosphere.
Nitrogen makes up 78% of our air!
3. What happens to
atmospheric nitrogen
(N2) in the nitrogen
cycle?
N

N

N

N

N

N
3. Atmospheric nitrogen is
converted to ammonia or nitrates.
N

N

Atmospheric
Nitrogen (N2)
N

Ammonia (NH3)

N

Nitrates...
N
N

4. Why does
atmospheric nitrogen
need to be
converted?
N

N

N
N
5. Nitrogen is an essential
component of DNA, RNA,
and proteins—the building
blocks of life.
Although the majority of the
...
6. How does
atmospheric
nitrogen get
changed into a
form that can be
used by most
living organisms?

N
N
6. By traveling through one of the
four processes in the Nitrogen Cycle!
(A) Nitrogen Fixation

(D) Denitrification
Nitrog...
The first process in the
nitrogen cycle is…
Nitrogen Fixation!
(1) Nitrogen Fixation

Nitrogen
Cycle
7. What is
“nitrogen fixation”
and
what does it mean
to say
nitrogen gets
“fixed”?

N
N
7. “Nitrogen Fixation” is when the nitrogen gets “fixed”
and combines with oxygen or hydrogen.
Hydrogen

Oxygen

N

N
Hydr...
There are three ways that
nitrogen gets “fixed”!
(a) Atmospheric Fixation
(b) Industrial Fixation

(c) Biological Fixation...
Lightning “fixes” Nitrogen!

(A)Atmospheric Fixation
(Only 5 to 8% of the Fixation
Process)
Lightning breaks nitrogen
mole...
NN

(B) Industrial Fixation
Under great pressure, at
a temperature of 600
degrees Celcius, and
with the use of a
catalyst,...
( C) Biological Fixation
(where MOST nitrogen fixing is completed)
There are two types of “Nitrogen Fixing Bacteria”

Free...
Most atmospheric nitrogen
(N2) is “fixed” and changed to
ammonia (NH3). Ammonia is
highly toxic to many
organisms.

Can pl...
Very few plants can use
ammonia (NH3)…
(1) Nitrogen Fixation
(2) Ammonification

…but, fortunately the
second process
Ammo...
8. What is
ammonification?
8. Ammonification: Bacteria decomposers break down
amino acids from dead animals and wastes into nitrogen
ammonium.

Bacte...
9. Why is
ammonification
necessary?
9. Because plants cannot use the organic forms of
nitrogen that are in the soil as a result of:
(1) wastes (manure and sew...
10. How does
ammonification
occur?
10. Microorganisms convert the organic nitrogen to
ammonium. The ammonium is either taken up by the
plants (only in a few ...
What happens to
ammonium (NH4) stored
in the soil?
11. It travels through the
third process
of the nitrogen cycle called
Nitrification!
(1) Nitrogen Fixation

(3) Nitrificat...
11. Nitrifying bacteria in the ground first combine
ammonia with oxygen to form nitrites. Then another
group of nitrifying...
12. How
does nitrogen
reenter the
atmosphere
in the
nitrogen
cycle?
12. Through the fourth
process called
denitrification!
(4) Denitrification

(3) Ammonification

(1) Nitrogen Fixation

(2)...
13. What does
denitrification
do?
13. Denitrification converts nitrates (NO3) in the
soil to atmospheric nitrogen (N2) replenishing the
atmosphere.
Nitrogen...
Other ways that nitrogen
returns to the atmosphere…

Emissions from industrial combustion and
gasoline engines create nitr...
Can you fill in the following diagram
with the parts of the nitrogen cycle?
Word bank:
denitrification,
nitrification,
nit...
(a)
(b)

N2
N2 O

(4) _____________

(1) _____________
(c)
Nitrogen
Cycle

(3) ____________

NO3
Ammonia is converted
to n...
(a)
(b)

N2
N2 O

(4) Denitrification

(1) Nitrogen Fixation
(c)
Nitrogen
Cycle

(3) Nitrification

(2) Ammonification

NO...
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Nitrogen cycle - Honors only 2.04

  1. 1. The Nitrogen Cycle
  2. 2. 1. What is nitrogen?
  3. 3. 1. Nitrogen is a non-metal, gaseous element.
  4. 4. 2. Where is nitrogen found in the environment?
  5. 5. 2. The largest single source of nitrogen is in the atmosphere. Nitrogen makes up 78% of our air!
  6. 6. 3. What happens to atmospheric nitrogen (N2) in the nitrogen cycle? N N N N N N
  7. 7. 3. Atmospheric nitrogen is converted to ammonia or nitrates. N N Atmospheric Nitrogen (N2) N Ammonia (NH3) N Nitrates (NO3)
  8. 8. N N 4. Why does atmospheric nitrogen need to be converted? N N N N
  9. 9. 5. Nitrogen is an essential component of DNA, RNA, and proteins—the building blocks of life. Although the majority of the air we breathe is nitrogen, most living organisms are unable to use nitrogen as it exists in the atmosphere!
  10. 10. 6. How does atmospheric nitrogen get changed into a form that can be used by most living organisms? N N
  11. 11. 6. By traveling through one of the four processes in the Nitrogen Cycle! (A) Nitrogen Fixation (D) Denitrification Nitrogen Cycle (C) Nitrification (B) Ammonification
  12. 12. The first process in the nitrogen cycle is… Nitrogen Fixation! (1) Nitrogen Fixation Nitrogen Cycle
  13. 13. 7. What is “nitrogen fixation” and what does it mean to say nitrogen gets “fixed”? N N
  14. 14. 7. “Nitrogen Fixation” is when the nitrogen gets “fixed” and combines with oxygen or hydrogen. Hydrogen Oxygen N N Hydrogen N N Oxygen N N
  15. 15. There are three ways that nitrogen gets “fixed”! (a) Atmospheric Fixation (b) Industrial Fixation (c) Biological Fixation Bacteria
  16. 16. Lightning “fixes” Nitrogen! (A)Atmospheric Fixation (Only 5 to 8% of the Fixation Process) Lightning breaks nitrogen molecules apart and combines with oxygen forming nitrogen oxides (N2O). Nitrogen oxides dissolve in rain, forming nitrates. Nitrates (NO3) are carried to the ground with the rain. N N O Nitrogen combines with Oxygen Nitrogen oxides forms (N2O) (NO3) Nitrogen oxides dissolve in rain and change to nitrates Plants use nitrates to grow!
  17. 17. NN (B) Industrial Fixation Under great pressure, at a temperature of 600 degrees Celcius, and with the use of a catalyst, atmospheric nitrogen (N2) and hydrogen are combined to form ammonia (NH3). Ammonia can be used as a fertilizer. N H H3 Industrial Plant combines nitrogen and hydrogen (NH3) Ammonia is formed Ammonia is used a fertilizer in soil
  18. 18. ( C) Biological Fixation (where MOST nitrogen fixing is completed) There are two types of “Nitrogen Fixing Bacteria” Free Living Bacteria (“fixes” 30% of N2) Symbiotic Relationship Bacteria (“fixes” 70% of N2)
  19. 19. Most atmospheric nitrogen (N2) is “fixed” and changed to ammonia (NH3). Ammonia is highly toxic to many organisms. Can plants use ammonia?
  20. 20. Very few plants can use ammonia (NH3)… (1) Nitrogen Fixation (2) Ammonification …but, fortunately the second process Ammonification can help!
  21. 21. 8. What is ammonification?
  22. 22. 8. Ammonification: Bacteria decomposers break down amino acids from dead animals and wastes into nitrogen ammonium. Bacteria decomposers break down amino acids into ammonium
  23. 23. 9. Why is ammonification necessary?
  24. 24. 9. Because plants cannot use the organic forms of nitrogen that are in the soil as a result of: (1) wastes (manure and sewage) (2) compost and decomposing roots and leaves
  25. 25. 10. How does ammonification occur?
  26. 26. 10. Microorganisms convert the organic nitrogen to ammonium. The ammonium is either taken up by the plants (only in a few types of plants) or is absorbed into the soil particles. Ammonium (NH4) in the soil is stored up to later be changed into inorganic nitrogen, the kind of nitrogen that most plants can use. Bacteria converts organic nitrogen to ammonium (NH4) Ammonium (NH4) is used by some plants Bacteria Ammonium (NH4) is stored in soil.
  27. 27. What happens to ammonium (NH4) stored in the soil?
  28. 28. 11. It travels through the third process of the nitrogen cycle called Nitrification! (1) Nitrogen Fixation (3) Nitrification (2) Ammonification
  29. 29. 11. Nitrifying bacteria in the ground first combine ammonia with oxygen to form nitrites. Then another group of nitrifying bacteria convert nitrites to nitrates which green plants can absorb and use! Nitrifying bacteria in soil combine ammonia with oxygen Ammonia changes to nitrites Nitrifying bacteria in soil convert nitrites to nitrates Ammonia Nitrites Nitrates (NH3) (NO2) (NO3) Plants absorb nitrates and grow!
  30. 30. 12. How does nitrogen reenter the atmosphere in the nitrogen cycle?
  31. 31. 12. Through the fourth process called denitrification! (4) Denitrification (3) Ammonification (1) Nitrogen Fixation (2) Nitrification
  32. 32. 13. What does denitrification do?
  33. 33. 13. Denitrification converts nitrates (NO3) in the soil to atmospheric nitrogen (N2) replenishing the atmosphere. Nitrogen in atmosphere (N2) Nitrates (NO3) in Soil
  34. 34. Other ways that nitrogen returns to the atmosphere… Emissions from industrial combustion and gasoline engines create nitrous oxides gas (N2O). Volcano eruptions emit nitrous oxides gas (N2O).
  35. 35. Can you fill in the following diagram with the parts of the nitrogen cycle? Word bank: denitrification, nitrification, nitrogen fixation, ammonification
  36. 36. (a) (b) N2 N2 O (4) _____________ (1) _____________ (c) Nitrogen Cycle (3) ____________ NO3 Ammonia is converted to nitrites and nitrates. (2) _____________ NH3 Nitrates in Soil Organic nitrogen is converted to ammonium.
  37. 37. (a) (b) N2 N2 O (4) Denitrification (1) Nitrogen Fixation (c) Nitrogen Cycle (3) Nitrification (2) Ammonification NO3 Ammonia is converted to nitrites and nitrates. NH3 Nitrates in Soil Organic nitrogen is converted to ammonium.
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