from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Ecology The circulation of nitrogen in nature, consisting of a cycle of chemical reactions in which atmospheric nitrogen is compounded, dissolved in rain, and deposited in the soil, where it is assimilated and metabolized by bacteria and plants, eventually returning to the atmosphere by bacterial decomposition of organic matter.
- n. Physics See carbon-nitrogen cycle.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. The natural circulation of nitrogen, in which atmospheric nitrogen is converted to nitrogen oxides by lightning and deposited in the soil by rain where it is assimilated by plants and either eaten by animals (and returned as faeces) or decomposed back to elemental nitrogen by bacteria.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. the circulation of nitrogen; nitrates from the soil are absorbed by plants which are eaten by animals that die and decay returning the nitrogen back to the soil
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