heterotrophic ecosystem

heterotrophic ecosystem

[¦hed·ə·rə‚träf·ik ′ek·ō‚sis·təm]
(ecology)
An ecosystem that depends upon preformed organic matter that is imported from autotrophic ecosystems elsewhere.
References in periodicals archive ?
But in heterotrophic ecosystems, such as forest streams and the deep ocean, where autotrophic production is low and ecosystem production is based primarily on allochthonous inputs, competition for nutrients and regulation of production by inorganic nutrients is less common because heterotrophic organisms are limited first by organic carbon.