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How nitrogen-containing substances are made available to and are used by living organisms.

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Introduction

How nitrogen-containing substances are made available to and are used by living organisms. (25 marks) Nitrogen is taken up by living organisms in the soil for the purpose of manufacturing proteins, nucleic acids and other nitrogen-containing compound. However, a vast minority of living organisms can use up the nitrogen gas directly, plants are only capable of absorbing the nitrogen-containing substances as nitrate ions, which are taken up from the soil via active transport. And so nitrogen enters the ecosystem through the absorption by plants and so theses plants are then eaten and digested by animals. ...read more.

Middle

The next stage is nitrification which is where ammonium ions in the soil are converted into nitrite ions with the aid of nitrifying bacteria, and then the nitrite ions are then converted into nitrate ions. It is an oxidation reaction and so energy is released in this stage. Another pathway by which nitrogen-containing substances are made available to living organisms is when the nitrogen gas in the surrounding environment is converted into nitrogen-containing compounds in a process known as nitrogen fixation. ...read more.

Conclusion

Artificial fertilisers are inorganic and consist of a mixture of mined rocks and deposits that are blended up to provide the right mixture of minerals for a specific crop. Natural fertilisers are organic and mare made up of dead and decaying plants and animals, also the excretion of plants and animals too. These fertilisers provide living organisms with an easy supply of minerals, including nitrogen-containing substances. Also, the addition of fertilisers increases productivity! However, there are a few disadvantages of using nitrogen fertilisers, like species diversity is reduced, leaching leads to pollution of watercourses and eutrophication. ...read more.

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