Why is nitrification important to an ecosystem?

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gsenviro eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Nitrification is the process by which organic nitrogen is converted to nitrite and then finally nitrate.  Nitrate is the preferred form of nitrogen for plants, which are the primary producers of food in an ecosystem. Nitrogen happens to be one of the key nutrients for plant and animal growth. Hence, the uptake of nitrogen in the form of nitrates by the plants is the chief importance of the nitrification process in an ecosystem. Nitrification is an aerobic microbial process, in which different bacteria carry out the conversion between different forms of nitrogen. First, nitrosomonas bacteria convert ammonium to nitrite. Afterwards, nitrobacter bacteria convert nitrite to nitrate. This nitrate is taken up by the plants from the soil and water. The nitrogen is necessary for plant growth and production of their food (through photosynthesis), which then serves as a primary food source in any ecosystem.

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