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- Step in the nitrogen cycle which involves the reduction of nitrates into nitrite, nitrous oxide, ammonia or elemental nitrogen. It is carried out by certain forms of denitrifying bacteria in the soil and serves as an important part of the breakdown of dead organism. It is responsible for the loss of much of the soil's natural and synthetic fertilizers. This process is favored most in warm, anaerobic conditions. [Science; v261; 1146-1149; 1993.] [Nature; v346; 258-260; 1990.] [Nature; v351; 135-137; 1991.]
Source: Atmospheric Chemistry Glossary
- The biological reduction of nitrate to nitrogen gas by denitrifying bacteria in soil.
Source: Terms of the Environment