Nitrate no 3 some bacteria also can utilize ammonium

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nitrate (NO 3 - ), some bacteria also can utilize ammonium, nitrate and nitrite (NO 2 - ), animals can only utilize organic nitrogen sources. o Reservoirs: atmosphere, soil, sediments, dissolved in surface and groundwater, biomass o Key processes: Nitrogen fixation (the conversion of N 2 by bacteria to soluble inorganic forms); ammonification (decomposes organic nitrogen to NH 4 + ); nitrification (ammonium is converted to nitrate by nitrifying bacteria); denitrification (under anaerobic conditions, denitrifying bacteria converts nitrate to nitrogen gas) Phosphorous Cycle o Phosphorous is a major component of nucleic acids, phospholipids, ATP and other nucleotides, mineral constituent of bones and teeth o Forms available for life: Phosphate (PO 4 3- ) can be converted by plants into organic molecules. o Reservoirs: sedimentary rocks, soil, dissolved in oceans, biomass, guano o Key processes: weathering rocks washes into waters, organic molecules – food web
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V. Restoration Ecology The goal of restoration ecology is to return degraded ecosystems to a more natural state. Bioremediation – using organisms (usually prokaryotes, fungi, or plants) to detoxify polluted ecosystems Ex) Lichens used to remove heavy/toxic metals (zinc, nickel, lead, and cadmium) from the ecosystem by accumulating them in their tissues Ex) S. oneidensis (a prokaryote) is able to metabolize at least a dozen nutrients – Oak Ridge National Laboratory in TN – using S. oneidensis to remove uranium from contaminated drinking Bioaugmentation – using organisms to add essential materials to degraded ecosystems Ex) Lupines (nitrogen fixing plants) are planted in areas where the soil has been disturbed by mining. Once they are established, other plants native species will return and are able to obtain enough nitrogen to survive. Ex) Mycorrhizal fungi added as symbionts to help return nitrogen and other vital nutrients to the soil. Sometimes scientists will release animals back into a habitat, create wildlife corridors connecting isolated habitats, establish artificial perches, dig burrow for other animals to use – all in an effort to increase biodiversity!
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