Nitrogen in Soils - Cycle

M. S. Coyne, W. W. Frye

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Nitrogen (N) is the element most often limiting plant nutrition in terrestrial ecosystems. The greatest source of available N is atmospheric dinitrogen (N 2), which is relatively inert and can only be used by symbiotic and free-living prokaryotic bacteria with the capacity for N 2 fixation ( Table 1 ). For other plants and soil organisms, the slow release of N from rocks and minerals and cycling between organic and inorganic forms in soil is crucial to life. Unfortunately, some aspects of N cycling can be problematic. Nitrogen can be readily lost from terrestrial soils, leading to reduced fertility and surface- or groundwater contamination, and several transformations give rise to intermediate or final products that can have negative environmental consequences.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Soils in the Environment
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9780080547954
StatePublished - Jan 1 2004

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2004 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering (all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Nitrogen in Soils - Cycle'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this