Autotrophic Nutrition

Definition - What does Autotrophic Nutrition mean?

Autotrophic nutrition is the process of an organism being able to create/produce its own food. Autotrophic nutrition refers to a nutritional system whereby complex full molecules essential for life emerge through photosynthesis. This includes compounds such as fats, proteins, and carbohydrates.

Minerals, water, and carbon dioxide have a direct impact on autotrophic nutrition. Through this type of nutrition, plants can produce their own food, i.e., they use autotrophic nutrition to feed themselves and grow.

Common autotrophs include, but are not limited to: microscopic bacteria, certain types of algae, and the majority of green plants.

MaximumYield explains Autotrophic Nutrition

Autotrophs usually feature chlorophyll, a green-colored pigment that traps energy from the sunlight. Consequently, the plant uses this trapped energy to process carbon dioxide and water into glucose. In some cases, the energy absorbed can separate water molecules into oxygen and hydrogen.

The following parts of the plant play an active role in the process of autotrophic nutrition:

  • Roots: During photosynthesis, the roots absorb water and mineral from the soil before distributing it to the rest of the plant.
  • Stomata: Found in the leaf’s lower epidermis, the stomata absorbs carbon dioxide from the air during photosynthesis.
  • Leaves: In vascular plants, the leaves come with chloroplasts that synthesize glucose through water and carbon dioxide.

Autotrophs are also sometimes called producers or self-feeders. The term comes from the Greek autos "self" and trophe "nourishing".

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