Product Type: Popular Article
Author(s): Baron, J
Baron, J. 2008. Talking Point: Fixing nitrogen levels. Environmental Research Letters, March 26, 2008. : 1 p.
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Human activity is altering Earth system processes in many ways, including changing the global nitrogen cycle. Nitrogen is an essential element for all living things and is globally abundant as the major gas in the Earth’s atmosphere. But access to atmospheric nitrogen by living organisms is restricted by the large amount of energy required to break the triple bonds that hold molecules of the gas together. Apart from those species of microbes that can fix nitrogen from the air for themselves, all other living organisms must rely on reactive nitrogen. This comes in both inorganic forms such as ammonium and nitrate and in organic varieties, for example urea, amines, proteins and nucleic acids...