autotroph

(redirected from Autotrophs)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical.

autotroph

(ôt`ətrōf'), in biology, an organism capable of synthesizing its own organic substances from inorganic compounds. Autotrophs produce their own sugars, lipids, and amino acids using carbon dioxide as a source of carbon, and ammonia or nitrates as a source of nitrogen. Organisms that use light for the energy to synthesize organic compounds are called photosynthetic autotrophs; organisms that oxidize such compounds as hydrogen sulfide (H2S) to obtain energy are called chemosynthetic autotrophs, or chemotrophs. Photosynthetic autotrophs include the green plants, certain algae, and the pigmented sulfur bacteria (see photosynthesisphotosynthesis
, process in which green plants, algae, and cyanobacteria utilize the energy of sunlight to manufacture carbohydrates from carbon dioxide and water in the presence of chlorophyll. Some of the plants that lack chlorophyll, e.g.
..... Click the link for more information.
). Chemotrophs include the iron bacteria, the nitrifying bacteria, and the nonpigmented sulfur bacteria (see chemosynthesischemosynthesis,
process in which carbohydrates are manufactured from carbon dioxide and water using chemical nutrients as the energy source, rather than the sunlight used for energy in photosynthesis. Much life on earth is fueled directly or indirectly by sunlight.
..... Click the link for more information.
). Heterotrophsheterotroph
, living organism that obtains its energy from carbohydrates and other organic material. All animals and most bacteria and fungi are heterotrophic. In contrast, autotrophs are organisms that use inorganic substances as energy sources and carbon dioxide as a carbon source.
..... Click the link for more information.
 are organisms that must obtain their energy from organic compounds.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/

autotroph

[′ȯd·ō‚träf]
(biology)
An organism capable of synthesizing organic nutrients directly from simple inorganic substances, such as carbon dioxide and inorganic nitrogen.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
The autotrophs were chosen because they are abundant in the habitats of these crustaceans and are consumed.
It is also possible that we did not detect all the autotrophs, especially for the groundwater from site H5, given the shift towards an increase in the relative abundance in MG-I Thaumarchaeota during the high-volume filtration.
However, any bias likely has little relation to our overall findings, as the average size differences between aquatic and terrestrial autotrophs was not a significant predictor of MFCL.
In natural conditions, the equable modes of feeding, for instance, can be found on the first trophic level of ecosystem, among autotrophs.
ECM fungi are predominant in boreal ecosystems, where N and P are sequestered in organic forms that are not readily available to autotrophs and hence the dominant plant species are highly dependent on ectomycorrhizal symbionts for their nutrient supply and ECM fungi are known to produce a wide range of extracellular and cell wall bound hydrolytic and oxidative enzymes which degrade N and P- compounds contained in SOM, and more particularly in proteins, ligno-cellulose and polyphenol-protein complexes (Burke and Cairney, 2002; Leake et al.
been shown to prey on macroinvertebrates that feed upon aquatic autotrophs (e.g., Cladophora and Fontinalis spp.; Forbes & Richardson 1920; Fahy 1954; Wehnes 1973; McCormick & Aspinwall 1983; Hlohowskyj & Wissing 1986).
Simultaneous growth of nitrifiers (autotrophs) and heterotrophs in a single reactor with a high COD/N ratio causes low nitrification efficiency due to competition between these two bacterial groups [14].
(7) In purely biological ecosystems, plants or "autotrophs" process the raw materials of nature into organic molecules, which are then consumed by "heterotrophic" organisms, which eat other biological organisms to survive.
"The Earth began to cool, The autotrophs began to drool," which I think is an over-simplification.
Decline of the heterotrophic community including [N.sub.2] fixing bacteria, in the mangroves might be partially due to an increase in oxygen production during active growth of autotrophs and predation of the bacteria by the detritivores (Holguin et al.
Microalgae are among the fastest growing autotrophs on the earth, which are utilizing commonly available material for their growth.