Why is nitrogen important

We all learn in our elementary science classes the nitrogen makes up a huge percentage of our atmosphere. The impression that nitrogen plays some significant role in human life gets created from that very fact. And there is a good amount of substance to the supposition as well. Human life does rely upon nitrogen as it is an integral component of the amino acids that further constitute proteins.

The atmospheric blanket contains nitrogen in the gaseous state, whereas it is the soluble state of nitrogen that has a telling impact on human life. The soil in which the plants thrive, and upon which more complex organisms such as animals depend indirectly, absorbs nitrogen in the atmosphere and stores it in a useful form for absorption. This happens through a complex chain of reactions called the nitrogen cycle. Dead and decaying organic material is acted upon by various micro organisms which reduce it to by products such as ammonia and other nitrogen compounds. Ultimately, the organic matter is decomposed into nitrates that plants use for their growth though absorption from soil.

Nitrogenous soil is considered good for plant growth, and helps plants in developing a stronger structure to withstand the test of times. Plants that do not get an adequate amount of soluble nitrogen have faded and wilted leaves. Even the animal body needs soluble nitrogen for life sustaining processes, and this nitrogen is made available to them through proteins in their diet. Human beings depend upon eatables such as milk, eggs, sea food, etc for their dose of nitrogen rich amino acids. These amino acids are further responsible for maintaining the protein balance of the human body.

Nitrogen and its compounds play a major role in plant growth. This is precisely the reason behind the fact that for nitrogen devoid soil, special nitrogenous fertilizers are used so that the plants can have the required dose of nitrogen. Since all forms of life depend directly or indirectly on plants, the importance of nitrogen in the sustenance of the environmental health becomes even more pronounced.