Nitrogen Cycle - Research Article from World of Chemistry

This encyclopedia article consists of approximately 3 pages of information about Nitrogen Cycle.
This section contains 640 words
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All plants and animals need certain organic nitrogen compounds to live. During the 1700s, scientists knew that nitrogen was obtained by plants in order to make proteins; however the origin of the nitrogen remained unknown. One obvious possible source was air, which is nearly 80% nitrogen. But in the late 1700s, H. B. de Saussure discovered that most plants cannot extract, or assimilate, nitrogen from the air. Instead, he concluded, they must absorb it somehow from the soil through their roots. Most people thought that nitrogen had to be restored to the soil by the addition of humus, manure, or other decaying organic matter. Farmers routinely added these fertilizers to their soil to supply nitrogen compounds in a form that plants could use.

Then in the mid-1800s, Jean Boussingault proved that plants could flourish without organic fertilization as long as other sources of nitrogen, such as...

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This section contains 640 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Nitrogen Cycle Encyclopedia Article
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Nitrogen Cycle from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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