Contents 1 History 2 Variants 3 Ecology 4 See also 5 References


History[edit] The Greek term autotroph was coined by the German botanist Albert Bernhard Frank in 1892.[3]


Variants[edit] Some organisms rely on organic compounds as a source of carbon, but are able to use light or inorganic compounds as a source of energy. Such organisms are not defined as autotrophic, but rather as heterotrophic. An organism that obtains carbon from organic compounds but obtains energy from light is called a photoheterotroph, while an organism that obtains carbon from organic compounds but obtains energy from the oxidation of inorganic compounds is termed a chemoheterotroph, chemolithoheterotroph, or lithoheterotroph. Evidence suggests that some fungi may also obtain energy from radiation. Such radiotrophic fungi were found growing inside a reactor of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant.[4] Flowchart to determine if a species is autotroph, heterotroph, or a subtype


Ecology[edit] Green fronds of a maidenhair fern, a photoautotroph See also: Primary production Autotrophs are fundamental to the food chains of all ecosystems in the world. They take energy from the environment in the form of sunlight or inorganic chemicals and use it to create energy-rich molecules such as carbohydrates. This mechanism is called primary production. Other organisms, called heterotrophs, take in autotrophs as food to carry out functions necessary for their life. Thus, heterotrophs — all animals, almost all fungi, as well as most bacteria and protozoa — depend on autotrophs, or primary producers, for the energy and raw materials they need. Heterotrophs obtain energy by breaking down organic molecules (carbohydrates, fats, and proteins) obtained in food. Carnivorous organisms rely on autotrophs indirectly, as the nutrients obtained from their heterotroph prey come from autotrophs they have consumed. Most ecosystems are supported by the autotrophic primary production of plants that capture photons initially released by the sun. Plants can only use a fraction of this energy for photosynthesis, approximately 1% is used by autotrophs.[5] The process of photosynthesis splits a water molecule (H2O), releasing oxygen (O2) into the atmosphere, and reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) to release the hydrogen atoms that fuel the metabolic process of primary production. Plants convert and store the energy of the photon into the chemical bonds of simple sugars during photosynthesis. These plant sugars are polymerized for storage as long-chain carbohydrates, including other sugars, starch, and cellulose; glucose is also used to make fats and proteins. When autotrophs are eaten by heterotrophs, i.e., consumers such as animals, the carbohydrates, fats, and proteins contained in them become energy sources for the heterotrophs.[6] Proteins can be made using nitrates, sulfates, and phosphates in the soil.[7][8]


See also[edit] Autotroph Chemoautotroph Lithotroph Photoautotroph Heterotroph Chemoheterotroph Lithotroph Photoheterotroph Organotroph Primary nutritional groups Heterotrophic nutrition


References[edit] ^ Chang, Kenneth (12 September 2016). "Visions of Life on Mars in Earth's Depths". New York Times. Retrieved 12 September 2016.  ^ Mauseth, James D. (2008). Botany: An Introduction to Plant Biology (4 ed.). Jones & Bartlett Publishers. p. 252. ISBN 978-0-7637-5345-0.  ^ Frank, A.B. Lehrbuch der Botanik. W. Engelmann, Leipzig 1892-93, [1]. ^ Melville, Kate (23 May 2007). "Chernobyl Fungus Feeds On Radiation". Archived from the original on 4 February 2009. Retrieved 18 February 2009.  ^ H., Schurr, Sam. Energy, ecnomic growth, and the environment. New York. ISBN 9781617260209. OCLC 868970980.  ^ Beckett, Brian S. (1981). Illustrated Human and Social Biology. Oxford University Press. p. 38. ISBN 978-0-19-914065-7.  ^ Odum, E. P.; Barrett, G. W. (2005). Fundamentals of ecology. Brooks Cole. p. 598. ISBN 978-0-534-42066-6.  ^ Smith, Gilbert M. (2007). A Textbook of General Botany. READ BOOKS. p. 148. ISBN 978-1-4067-7315-6.  Retrieved from "https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Autotroph&oldid=820353126" Categories: Trophic ecologyMicrobial growth and nutritionBiology terminologyPlant nutritionHidden categories: Use dmy dates from November 2017


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