Nitrogen is an important constituent of protein and protoplasm. And essential for the growth of plants. Its shortage leads to chlorosis (yellow of leaves) and stoppage of growth. Its excess adversely effect the quality of fruit. Its presence in moderate doses is essential for plant growth and fruiting. It is usually deficient in soils. Nitrogen given to plants in the forms organic manure and artificial fertilisers. It is also present in the air but plants can not directly avail of it. The lithosphere and atmospheric content of molecular nitrogen are 18 x 1015 and 3.8 x 1015 tons. In plant nitrogen lost through leaching, erosion or escape of ammonia or elemental N into the atmosphere.
Function of nitrogen
Nitrogen is a part of proteins, important constituent of protoplasm, enzymes, the biological catalytic agents which speed up life processes. Nitrogen is also present as a part of nucleoprotein, amino acids, amines, amino sugar, polypeptides and other organic compounds in plants. In order to prepare a food for plant, plant required chlorophyll, energy of sunlight to form carbohydrates and fats from CO2 and water and nitrogenous compounds. Nitrogen constitutes about 5-6 % of soil organic matter by weight. Nitrogen is added to the soil both symbiotic and non-symbiotic fixation from the atmosphere.
Natural Source of Nitrogen in the soil
Nitrogen increases the area of the leaf, while potassium increases its efficiency.
The maximum up-take of nutrients occurs during the period of most active growth.
Ammonium sulfate and sodium nitrate their responses of various crops are different.
Ammonium salts in the soil dissolves and take part in cation exchange with soil colloid particle. A proportion of ammonium ions displace from the colloids an equivalent amount of calcium, magnesium and potassium ions, which are absorbed by growing plant. If soil conditions are good the nitrifying organisms will oxidize the ammonium to nitric acid, then immediately dissolve calcium to nitric acid, and then immediately dissolve calcium compounds to produce calcium nitrate. It is largely not absorbed directly by the plant is largely absorb by the soil colloids then convert to nitrate.
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Last update: 04 October 2022
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