noun, plural: autotrophs

A organism capable of making nutritive organic molecules from inorganic sources via photosynthesis (involving light energy) or chemosynthesis (involving chemical energy).


Autotrophs are the producers in a food chain, such as plants on land or algae in water. Autotrophs may be photoautotrophs or chemoautotrophs.

Word origin: from the Greek autos = self and trophe = nutrition
Related forms: atotrophic (adjective)


Compare: heterotroph

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