Autotroph vs Heterotroph Producer vs Consumer

Friday, November 4, 2016

An Autotroph is an organism that can self feed. The word autotroph comes from the Greek term autos "self" and trophe "nourishing."
Autotrophs are the producers in a food web.
Autotrophs produce their energy from the sun in a chemical process called photosynthesis.
They take  Carbon Dioxide plus water and sunlight and produce sugar and oxygen.
Autotrophs form the base of the energy pyramid.

A heterotroph comes from the Greek word meaning  heteros = "another", "different" and trophe = "nutrition."
Heterotrophs receive their energy by eating other plants and animals.

They use a process called cellular respiration to generate energy.

C6H12O6 + 6 O2 --------> 6 CO2 + 6 H2O + Energy (ATP)
Sugar + oxygen to produce carbon dioxide + water and energy in the form of ATP
Some heterotrophs eat only eat plants and are called herbivores. Others eat only meat, ( carnivores) others eat plants and animals, ( omnivores). Some heterotrophs feed on dead organic remains of other organisms and are called decomposers.
If you hear the term producer, it means the same as an autotroph, and a consumer is a heterotroph.


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