How does nitrogen work in the soil, and where does it come from when we don't have a bag of fertilizer to supplement it?
I've spoken many times on this subject at conferences and it was the main theme of my talk when I represented North America at the World's 1st Humus Experts Meeting in Vienna Austria back in 2013. Most of the Nitrogen used by the vast tropical rain forests, or the fastest growing biomass place on Earth, the Coastal Redwood Forests of California, comes from the production of protein by the Free-Living Nitrogen Fixing bacteria in soil and the massive biomass structure of the mycorrhizal fungi. The proteins as it breaks down in the soil into amino acids are the building blocks of life and the explanation of the Soil Food Web. However, in order for those amino acids to enter a plant and be part of the nitrogen budget of the plant they must have the assistance of the mycorrhizal fungi. It's much more efficient for a plant to uptake amino acids whose molecules include nitrogen needed to build tissues than to uptake just nitrogen minus the amino acid. The problem with dep