Nitrogen can be fixed by lightning converting nitrogen and oxygen into NOx (nitrogen oxides), if there is oxygen in the air. NOx may react with water to make nitrous acid or nitric acid , which seeps into the soil, where it makes nitrate , which is of use to growing plants.
When a plant or animal dies or an animal expels waste, the initial form of nitrogen is organic . Bacteria or fungi convert the organic nitrogen within the remains back into ammonium (NH +
4 ), a process called ammonification or mineralization . Enzymes involved are:
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