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The nitrogen cycle works by driving the circulation of nitrogen through biotic and abiotic components of an ecosystem. The cycle begins and ends with molecular nitrogen floating freely as a major component of the Earth's atmosphere.


The nitrogen cycle is important due to its role as a basis for the production of nitrogen that is essential to all forms of life. The atmosphere contains a vast majority of the natural nitrogen found on Earth.


The steps of the nitrogen cycle are nitrogen fixation, nitrification, ammonifcation and denitrification. During the first step, nitrogen fixation, special bacteria convert nitrogen gas into ammonia which is used by plants. The second step, nitrification, involves conver...


Humans affect the nitrogen cycle through activities that increase the amount of nitrogen that is biologically available in an ecosystem. The major culprits are fossil fuel combustion and the application of nitrogen-based fertilizer. Fossil fuel combustion releases nitri...


An aquarium's nitrogen cycle is the process a new aquarium undergoes to establish bacterial colonies, according to About.com. As fish excrete waste and plants inside the aquarium decay, bacteria grow to convert this waste to less toxic byproducts. The fish are at risk u...


Nitrogen is used by organisms in the form of nitrate to build DNA and RNA, and to construct amino acids. Commercially, nitrogen is used in the creation of steel and electronics.


Nitrogen is an important chemical element with a variety of different functions. It helps form compounds that are essential to life and it is required for living things to grow. Nitrogen is a vital part of amino acids, which are the small structures that help make up pr...