from The Century Dictionary.

  • Self-nourishing: said of plants which derive their nourishment directly from inorganic matter, that is, of all plants except parasites and saprophytes. See the quotation under hemiparasite and compare holophytic.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective (Plant Physiol.) Capable of self-nourishment; requiring only minerals for growth; using carbonate or carbon dioxide as a source of carbon and simple inorganic nitrogen as a nitrogen source; -- said of all plants in which photosynthetic activity takes place, and certain bacteria. It is opposed to parasitism or saprophytism.
  • adjective of or pertaining to an autotroph.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective biology Of or pertaining to the production of organic compounds from carbon dioxide as a carbon source, using either light or reactions of inorganic chemical compounds, as a source of energy.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective of or relating to organisms (as green plants) that can make complex organic nutritive compounds from simple inorganic sources by photosynthesis


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

auto- + -trophic


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  • Rhodophyta are autotrophic, which is an organism that obtains and stores Floridian starch from photosynthesis.

    CreationWiki - Recent changes [en]

  • On land, an estimated 60 Pg C (60 billion tonnes) is emitted to the atmosphere each year by autotrophic respiration.

    Carbon dioxide

  • In the sea, autotrophic respiration is thought to account for about 58 Pg of the dissolved inorganic carbon in surface waters each year, with the contribution of heterotrophic respiration being 34 Pg C. Vulcanism

    Carbon dioxide

  • In the time after a fire during which appreciable tree mortality occurred, the majority of respiration shifts from autotrophic to heterotrophic.

    Climate change in relation to carbon uptake and carbon storage in the Arctic

  • Similarly, among protists, a radiolarian may capture and ingest, more or less indifferently, a bacterium, an autotrophic flagellate, a herbivorous oligotrich ciliate, or another radiolarian (Fig 2E).

    Marine microbes

  • Thus, the viruses which attack the autotrophic prokaryotes Synechococcus, the bacteria which absorb dissolved organic excreted by autotrophic protists such as diatoms and dinoflagellates, and the protists such as ciliates, radiolarians which feed on autotrophic protists are all consumers of primary production.

    Marine microbes

  • Among marine microbes, consumers of primary producers are those which feed on autotrophic prokaryotes or autotrophic protists.

    Marine microbes

  • Microbial autotrophic and heterotrophic eucaryotes in Antarctic waters: relationships between biomass and chlorophyll, adenosine triphosphate and particulate organic carbon.

    Future change in processes and impacts on Arctic biota

  • Usually in surface waters there are about a thousand per ml of small flagellates which feed on bacteria (both autotrophic and heterotrophic prokaryotes) and 1 or 2 ciliates, oligotrichs (Fig 2B) and tintinnids (Fig 2C) or heterotrophic dinoflagellates which feed on autotrophic protists.

    Marine microbes

  • Some protist species retain and use the chloroplasts in the prey they eat while other protists harbor symbionts, entire autotrophic bacteria or protists.

    Marine microbes


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