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Nitrogen Questions (EB1971e)

After reading pages 8 and 9 of the WSU publication: Home Gardener's Guide to Soils and Fertilizers EB1971, answer these questions.

  1. Why is nitrogen essential to plants?
  2. Which two forms of nitrogen can plants use?
  3. What is the most abundant form of nitrogen in the soil? In the air?
  4. In the poem "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" external arrow by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, the mariner, stranded at sea, says, "Water, water, everywhere, nor any drop to drink". Why is this similar to a plant in Earth's N2 atmosphere?
  5. What do the authors mean by "The nitrogen cycle is a leaky one, with losses to leaching ..."?
  6. How can water saturated soils contribute to nitrogen loss?
  7. In Europe, compared with medieval farming, yields of crops increased external arrow 50% by the 18th century. Part of this large increase was due to crop rotations including peas. Explain.
  8. Nitrogen is required to make chlorophyll. Use this information to explain how we spot nitrogen deficiencies in plants.