Nutrition: Autotrophic & Heterotrophic | cypenv.info
for their valuable advice and constructive comments that inspired me to work more . The relation between autotrophic and heterotrophic species is the. Discusses how autotrophs and heterotrophs obtain energy. Compare autotrophs to heterotrophs, and describe the relationship between. Autotrophs can synthesize their own food from inorganic compounds Heterotrophs can not synthesize their own food and are dependent on.
Most autotrophs are green plants or algae, but we can throw a few cyanobacteria into this category as well. Many autotrophs use the process of photosynthesis to convert energy from the sunlight into carbohydrates, so they are called phototrophs.
They don't have to eat food; all they need is water and sunlight! No worrying about their food running away or having enough money to buy it from the grocery store - the only thing they need to worry about is a cloudy day!
Autotrophs and Heterotrophs - Video & Lesson Transcript | cypenv.info
Because autotrophs are the producers, they are the ones that provide a food source for the consumers. As stated, they begin the food chain. And remember those carbohydrates? Well, that's what the consumers 'consume' to obtain their energy. You see, the producers produce the food, and the consumers consume the food. See how easy that is? Now, all you have to remember is that producers who use photosynthesis are called phototrophs, which are a type of autotroph. Maybe you can think about it this way.
Autotrophs produce their food automatically. And phototroph and photosynthesis both have the word 'photo' in them - because if I could make my own food using sunlight, it would probably be a pretty photo-worthy opportunity. Heterotrophs Okay, well, now that we have established what an autotroph is and what their role in the food chain is, let's take a look at the heterotrophs.
Autotrophs and Heterotrophs
Heterotrophs get their energy by consuming food from external sources. In most cases, this food is produced by an autotroph. Now, you may be thinking, 'But I get some of my food out of a box of cereal, or from a granola bar,' but the source of the grains in the cereal and the nuts in the granola bar come from green plants that once grew in some farmer's field.
Without autotrophs, all of our food webs would collapse. Since there is so much energy available to this layer of the food web, autotrophs have the greatest number of organisms in an ecosystem. Think of how many blades of grass there are in a field compared to how many bears you typically see. Autotrophs also have an easier time finding a suitable environment. All they need are the right conditions and plenty of sunlight or chemicals to survive and flourish.
Heterotrophs Heterotrophs depend on other organisms for food. Some heterotrophs, called herbivores, only eat plants. So, there are substantially fewer herbivores in an ecosystem compared to autotrophs since they get less energy.
There are millions of blades of grass, but only one herd of about twenty deer. Omnivores eat plants too, but they also can eat meat. These animals might consume the herbivores or plants. If the omnivores are eating the herbivores, they get even less energy.
Thus, there are going to be even fewer of these heterotrophs compared to the herbivores. Carnivores only eat meat. Carnivores are typically the smallest group in an ecosystem, since there is even less energy available as you move up the food chain.
Carnivores need a steady diet of other heterotrophs, so they will only be able to live in locations that contain prey, unlike plants which only require sunlight and water. More energy is available to the bottom of the food chain so there are more animals compared to carnivores at the top Agriculture So what does this have to do with us?
Although we might find ourselves eating packaged food from the grocery store, all food ultimately comes from autotrophs. Let's look at an example of how we get a bowl of milk and cereal.