- Over the next summer, @AmyMarcarelli will be leading a team across North America, gathering samples in streams from Puerto Rico to Alaska to get a better sense of nitrogen fixation. Stay tuned on @mturesearch and mtu.edu/unscripted to learn about the team's work. Here's a local stream where they'll sample.
Meet the Processes
- @AmyMarcarelli's work focuses on two processes in the nitrogen cycle: nitrogen fixation and denitrification. In undisturbed natural ecosystems, the processes balance each other out, with each part of the cycle driven by certain microbial communities. In a nutshell: nitrogen gas gets converted (via nitrogen fixation) into a new form of nitrogen (ammonium), which is transformed into another kind (nitrate), and is finally changed again and released back into the atmosphere (via denitrifcation.)
- Here are a quick explainer:
The Balancing Act
- Within this big global biogeochemical cycle, @AmyMarcarelli is interested in how nitrogen fixation and denitrifcation are balanced.
The Other Players
- Nitrogen is a major nutrient that organisms need to survive. However, it's not the only nutrient.