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.
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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 ?
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.
Hence, evaluation of the effects of reduced salinity on autotrophy and on the zooxanthellae is needed to understand more fully the adaptation mechanism of giant clams under longer exposure to reduced-salinity conditions.
(1994) suggested that inorganic nutrient inputs associated with human perturbation have driven the global ocean towards autotrophy. Further analyses and modeling are required to determine the global trophic status of the coastal zone and the local perturbations of this balance.
contorfum population from an arctic cold seep at the Haakon Mosby Mud Volcano have characteristic functional genes for autotrophy and sulfur oxidation (Losekann et al., 2008).
In general, the pattern of net metabolism observed in these systems may be strongly dependent on the delivery of organic matter or inorganic nutrient into the system, which may favor either heterotrophy or autotrophy, respectively.
in symbiotic status and the distinction in reliance on phototrophy versus autotrophy allow us to further explore detailed aspects of how mutualisms influence ecological patterns and evolutionary trajectories.
Functional feeding groups, therefore, should be used with caution to infer systems-level trophic dynamics in streams (e.g., system autotrophy or heterotrophy derived from scraper or shredder abundance or biomass).
16 seems to be a truly general food-web model, for it describes all types of trophic relationships including autotrophy and heterotrophy, monophagy, polyphagy, omnivory, cannibalism and mutual predation, intra- and inter-specific competition, and single- to multiple-species population interactions.
Autotrophy has been confirmed by determining C (14) fixation in FeS, Fe[S.sub.2], and basalt (~10 wt.
We suggest that expansion behavior in zooxanthellate corals relates to their energy equilibrium between heterotrophy and autotrophy. The expanded tentacles of F.favus corals have low densities of zooxanthellae and may produce a self-shadow on the rest of the coral tissue that contains dense algae (O.
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].
To test the effects of EZ on [C.sub.i] flux, the worms were first maintained under the conditions described above until they showed signs of autotrophy (stable net [C.sub.i] uptake), after about 20 h.