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Free nitrogen is found in the air (this is NOT usable form of Nitrogen that humans need). Nitrogen Fixation occurs on the small nodules (found on legume roots such as clovers, peas, beans, and alfalfa) to fix free nitrogen from the air directly into simple compounds that the plants can use... nitrogen gas to ammonia.
Nitrification is the process, which converts the ammonia into nitrite ions which the plants take in as nutrients.
After all of living organisms have used the nitrogen, decomposer bacteria convert the nitrogen-rich waste compounds into simpler ones and convert the simple nitrogen compounds back into nitrogen gas.
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