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•  Autotrophs obtain inorganic nutrients from the abiotic environment

Autotrophs synthesise organic molecules from simple inorganic substances

  • Most autotrophs derive the energy for this process from sunlight (via photosynthesis)
  • Some may derive the needed energy from the oxidation of inorganic chemicals (chemosynthesis)

Autotrophs obtain the simple inorganic substances required for this process from the abiotic environment

  • These nutrients – including carbon, nitrogen, hydrogen, oxygen and phosphorus – are obtained from the air, water and soil

Heterotrophs also may obtain some simple inorganic substances from the environment, but principally obtain their carbon and nitrogen from the organic molecules produced by autotrophs

Autotrophic Nutrition