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most organisms can use nitrogen only once it has been fixed or combined with other elements to form nitrogen-containing compounds.
in the nitrogen cycle, free nitrogen from the air is fixed into compounds
plants can then use these nitrogen compounds carrying out their life processes
consumers eat nitrogen compounds in plants
free nitrogen in air
plants use simple nitrogen compounds to make proteins.
bacteria in soil release some free nitrogen back into the air.
most organisms can use nitrogen only once it has been fixed