Nitrogen is an essential element required by all life — vital for plant and animal growth and nourishment. But, an overabundance of nitrogen can cause negative ecological effects. Over the past century, the amount of nitrogen cycling through the environment has drastically changed with humans as the culprit. “We’ve doubled the amount of reactive nitrogen cycling through the environment,” said Tara Trammell, the John Bartram Assistant Professor of Urban Forestry in the University of Delaware Department of Plant and Soil Sciences. “Prior to the Industrial Revolution, nitrogen would cycle tightly within ecosystems. Through human activities, we are converting inert forms of nitrogen into reactive forms, like inorganic fertilizer, that plants can use.” Read the full article on UDaily.