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    So that's a picture of the nitrogen cycle from my book. I have a question as it seems to contradict what's written in my book as well.

    Firstly, the arrow showing "nitrogen fixation by free-living bacteria": My book also says that at this N2 turns into NH3 by free-living bacteria, and not ammonium ions
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    Hi there,

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    (Original post by ps1265A)

    So that's a picture of the nitrogen cycle from my book. I have a question as it seems to contradict what's written in my book as well.

    Firstly, the arrow showing "nitrogen fixation by free-living bacteria": My book also says that at this N2 turns into NH3 by free-living bacteria, and not ammonium ions
    It will probably be in the form of ammonium ions. Ammonium (NH4+) isn't very different from ammonia (NH3) though. There would probably be a bit of both.
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    I think both can be formed. Possibly NH3 is formed then further reduced to NH4+
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    Don't worry about it. Ammonia and Ammonium are pretty much the same thing and are interchangeable.

    Ammonium (NH4+) is just ammonia (NH3) that has reacted with an acid (and living things are full of weak acids so it does happen). Biologists use the terms interchangeably.

    Hope that helps.

    By the way, best way to learn the nitrogen cycle....... break it into stages and then write each one out many times on scrap paper until you can do the whole thing from memory. It'll take about an hour or two and once you've done it, it's much easier.
 
 
 
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