Standard Article

Soil Nitrogen Cycle

  1. David D. Myrold

Published Online: 15 APR 2003

DOI: 10.1002/047126363X.agr361

Encyclopedia of Agrochemicals

Encyclopedia of Agrochemicals

How to Cite

Myrold, D. D. 2003. Soil Nitrogen Cycle. Encyclopedia of Agrochemicals. .

Author Information

  1. Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 APR 2003


Nitrogen is an essential element for life. Microorganisms and their activities are crucial to supplying biologically available nitrogen; in fact, only certain prokaryotes can produce such nitrogen. In general, microorganisms play a key role in the transformation of nitrogen into its many available forms and thereby influence primary productivity in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. An understanding of nitrogen cycling in soils is critical to sustain the productivity of natural and managed ecosystems without environmental degradation.


  • nitrogen;
  • nitrogen cycling;
  • prokaryotes;
  • microorganisms;
  • ecosystems;
  • degradation;
  • dinitrogen fixation;
  • ammonification;
  • assimilation;
  • nitrification;
  • denitrification