The Nitrogen Cycle
1. Nitrogen fixation is where nitrogen compounds form nitrates. This is done by lightning splitting the nitrogen molecule into atoms where they then go into the soil.
2. Nitrifying bacteria absorb these nitrates and use them to make amino acids, proteins.
3. Animals eat the plants and take in these nitrates.
4. The animals release the nitrates by excretion or decomposing (death).
5. Denitrification occurs where the denitrifying bacteria break up the nitrates and return the nitrogen to the air.