Nitrogen is essential in all spheres of life. Earth’s atmosphere comprises of 75% nitrogen in the form of N2 gas. However, the gaseous form is unavailable for use as there is a triple bond between the two nitrogen atoms, making the molecule completely inert. So, for nitrogen to be accessible, it has to be fixed either in the form of ammonium or nitrate ions. Plants hold 3-4 % nitrogen in their tissues, at quite a higher concentration as compared to other nutrients. Also, nitrogen is a major element of nearly all essential plant substances – includes 40-50% of dry matter of protoplasm.
How Nitrogen influences Plants Growth
- Nitrogen assimilation into Amino acid is the building block for proteins, and proteins are part of every cell found in both plants and animals.
- Nitrogen catalyses the formation of nucleic acid. It is the core element of plant protein and genetic material like DNA and RNA.
- Nitrogen is a component of chlorophyll and crucial for photosynthesis.
- Significantly increase leaf chlorophyll content with an increased biomass production.
- Nitrogen influences growth and utilization of sugars more than it affects photosynthesis through a reduction in chlorophyll.
- Plants take up nitrogen in the form of Nitrates and ammonium NH4+is likely the leading source.
- Nitrogen affects growth and yield of many vegetable crops
- Nitrogen fertilization is found to increase seed yield
- Leaf area expansion, stem elongation addition of node and photosynthesis rate apparently increases in the presence of Nitrogen.
- Higher nitrogen concentration is associated with higher shoot dry matter production.
- High nitrogen concentration remarkably improves photosynthetic CO2 assimilation of the target leaves.
- Transpiration rate increased with high Nitrogen concentration.
However, a plant’s tendency to store nutrients increases during the bloom phase. All through flower production, the focus is on building up stores of energy and nutrition for seeds. Thus, too high a dose of nitrogen in densely packed floral tissues leads to predispose blooms to botrytis and thus prone to attack by insects and pest. Also, excessively high nitrogen levels delay maturation by weeks and reduces accumulation of sugar, dipping aroma and flavor. So, keep a check on the concentration of nitrogen through proper measurement and analysis and adjust the levels accordingly for better yields and harvests.