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Nitrogen Cycle

Denitrification

Denitrification is another bacterial process, carried out by a relatively wide range of species. In denitrification, nitrate is reduced to either nitrous oxide or dinitrogen, which is then emitted to the atmosphere. Denitrification occurs under conditions where oxygen is not present, and its rate is largest when concentrations of nitrate are large. Consequently, fertilized agricultural fields that are wet or flooded can have quite large rates of denitrification. In some respects, denitrification can be considered to be an opposite process to dinitrogen fixation. In fact, the global rates of dinitrogen fixation and denitrification are in an approximate balance, meaning that the total quantity of fixed nitrogen in Earth's ecosystems is neither increasing nor decreasing substantially over time.


Additional topics

Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADP) to Ockham's razorNitrogen Cycle - Chemical Forms Of Nitrogen, Dinitrogen Fixation, Ammonification And Nitrification, Denitrification, Humans And The Nitrogen Cycle