autotroph

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Related to autotrophy: photosynthesis, heterotrophy

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.
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). 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.
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). 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.
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 are organisms that must obtain their energy from organic compounds.

autotroph

[′ȯd·ō‚träf]
(biology)
An organism capable of synthesizing organic nutrients directly from simple inorganic substances, such as carbon dioxide and inorganic nitrogen.
References in periodicals archive ?
Overall, this might have contribute to changes in NPP from a net autotrophy in St 30 and a net equilibrium with floating macrophytes gradually covering the water surface in St 60, St 90 and St 120.
Our results support that small streams might show catastrophic shifts between net autotrophy and heterotrophy after dredging, reflecting potentially important implications on organic matter cycling and silting up controls in extensive inland flooded areas at low latitudes.
Without resorting to further analysis, it is apparent that the water column autotrophy of 29 mmol [multiplied by] [m.
About 70% of GPP and 40% of R occur in the water column, with water column autotrophy approximately balanced by benthic heterotrophy.
Autotrophy has been confirmed by determining C (14) fixation in FeS, Fe[S.
We suggest that expansion behavior in zooxanthellate corals relates to their energy equilibrium between heterotrophy and autotrophy.
Morphology, photoadaptation and autotrophy in hermatypic corals.
Autotrophy, heterotrophy and resource partitioning in Caribbean reef building corals.
Mixotrophy, a combination of autotrophy and heterotrophy, is widespread among certain protists and, in particular, among flagellates such as haptophytes [13], dinoflagellates [14, 15, 16, 17], cryptophytes [18], and diatoms [19, 20, 21].
i] flux, the worms were first maintained under the conditions described above until they showed signs of autotrophy (stable net [C.
Shortly thereafter, the worms showed signs of autotrophy, indicated by net acquisition of inorganic carbon, which, again, is expressed as a negative flux rate (-12.