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    Working with Nitrogen Fixation

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    Why does EAC have a maximum value of 0.75? What would be the likely effect on plant yield if this value declined to a very low level?

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    Plants require a number of different mineral elements for healthy growth, elements which may already be available in the soil or may need to be added in the form of fertilizers. Some of these elements are needed in relatively large amounts (the macro-nutrients) and others in very small amounts (the micro-nutrients). One of the most important macro-nutrients, one that is frequently in short supply, is nitrogen. This may seem strange when the atmosphere contains 80% nitrogen. Unfortunately this nitrogen is in a gaseous form (N2) that plants are unable to use. Plants must obtain nitrogen in the form of nitrate (NO3-) or ammonia (NH3) and these forms are much less abundant.

    There are organisms that can 'fix' or convert gaseous nitrogen into ...

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