Farming is one way humans alter the nitrogen cycle. Photo courtesy of cindy47452/Flickr.

Ammonification: process by which bacteria break the bonds in the nitrogen gas, and combine the free nitrogen atoms with hydrogen to form ammonium

Biogeochemical Cycles: describe the movement of matter across the surface of the planet, from the geosphere to the atmosphere to the biosphere to the hydrosphere and back again

Denitrification: the process of converting nitrites, nitrates, and ammonium back into N2 gas

Nitrification: process by which electricity, in the form of lightning, breaks the strong bond between the N2 molecule, enabling free nitrogen atoms to bond with oxygen in the air to form ammonia, nitrites and nitrates

Nitrogen Cycle: biogeochemical cycle that circulates the nutrient nitrogen through Earth's spheres

Nitrogen Fixation: process of converting nitrogen into a form usable by organisms

Nutrient Pollution: addition of too much nitrogen, typically due to the addition of fertilizers

Phosphorous Cycle: biogeochemical cycle that circulates the nutrient phosphorous through Earth's spheres

Rhizobium: colonies of bacteria that perform nitrification and ammonification
Last modified: Thursday, 7 October 2010, 8:56 AM