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Nitrogen gas makes up nearly 80% of Earth's atmosphere, yet nitrogen is often a limiting factor for plant growth. Why ?
1. The atmospheric form of nitrogen cannot be used by plants.
2. Nitrifying bacteria remove usable nitrogen from the soil more repidly than plants can absorb it.
3. Atmospheric nitrogen dissolves readily in the soil but is washed out with every rainfall.
4. Plants must absorb nitrogen through their roots, which are not in contact with the atmosphere.