Fertilisers in Agriculture

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Use of artificial and natural fertilisers

  • Make plants grow more
  • Increases productivity=more profit
  • Cost/benefit analysis needed
  • NPK fertilisers- Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium 
  • Nitrogen is needed for protein formation
  • One mineral is not sufficient
  • Other elements included
  • Ammonia becomes ammonium ions, then nitrites through nitrification
  • Then become nitrates
  • Taken up by active transport in plant
  • Amino acids are made, so proteins are formed
  • Leads to growth of plant
  • Leaves grow, so more glucose can be made through photosynthesis
  • Used to produce organic substances, increasing productivity
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Fertilisers in Agricultural ecosystems

  • Not needed in natural ecosystems
  • Nutrients are constantly recycled
  • Death and decay in nitrogen cycle
  • Saprobiotic micro-organisms act on ammonium compounds in organisms
  • Natural fertilisers=Manure, Bone meal and Dead plants
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Process of eutrophication

  • High levels of nitrate causes growth of plants
  • Surface water covered with algae
  • Prevents light from reaching plants
  • Lack of photosynthesis, so plants die
  • Saprobiotic micro-organisms feed on dead plants
  • Rapidly reproduce
  • Use oxygen for respiration
  • Oxygen concentration of water is reduced
  • Aerobic organisms (e.g. fish) start to die- lack of oxygen
  • Saprobiotic micro-organsims release ammonia
  • Nitrifying bacteria convert this to nitrates (oxidation)
  • Anaerobic micro-organisms increase in population-lack of competition
  • Reduction in species diversity
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