Denitrification - Nutrient Cycles
Nitrates are readily leached from the soil and also lost through denitrification the process by which molecular or gaseous nitrogen (N2) as well as nitrous oxide (NO) 'and nitric oxide (N2O) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) are formed from NO-3 by bacteria (such as pseudomonas) and fungi. They use the nitrate as a source of oxygen in the presence of glucose and phosphate. Denitrifing bacteria prefer anaerobic or partially aerobic habitats such as estuaries, bogs, lake bottoms and water-logged soils. The bacteria reduce the nitrates to nitrites which are finally converted to free nitrogen.