Key Difference

The main difference between autotroph and heterotroph is that autotroph produces their own food while heterotroph relies on other organisms for food.

Comparison Chart

Basis of DistinctionAutotrophHeterotroph
DefinitionAutotroph is the type of organism that is capable in forming nutritional organic substances from simple inorganic substances like carbon dioxideIt cannot produce organic compounds from inorganic compounds and rely on the foods of other organisms
Food Chain LevelPrimarySecondary and tertiary
Job RoleProducersConsumers
What or Who They Ear?They produce their own food for energyThey eat other organisms to get proteins and energy
ExamplesPlants, Algae and few BacteriaHerbivores, Omnivores and Carnivores

What is Autotroph?

Autotrophs, store chemical vitality in starch sustenance atoms they produce themselves. Food is compound energy put away in natural particles. Food gives both the vitality to do work and the carbon to assemble bodies. Since most autotrophs change sunlight to make nourishment, we call the procedure they utilize photosynthesis. Just three group of creatures – plants, algae (green plants), and a few bacteria – are fit for this nurturing energy change. Autotrophs make food for their own utilization, yet they make enough to bolster other life too. All different living beings depend completely on these three gatherings for the sustenance they deliver. The makers, as autotrophs are additionally known, start evolved ways of life which bolster all life. Natural ways of life will be talked about in the “Food Chains and Food Webs” concept.

What is Heterotroph?

Heterotrophs are those organism that rely on the food produced by another organism becue they don’t produce the food by themselves. For this, heterotrophs are also called as consumers. These include all those animals and fungi and other bacteria and protists as well. They basically consume the other autotrophs organic molecules produced by the other organisms or other dead heterotrophs. These are further sub-classified in the process of energy they get from the environment. According to further classification, these are two types mainly photoheterotroph and chemoheterotroph. Photoheterotroph are those that uses the light for energy while chemoheterotroph is those that uses the chemical energy. Most of the heterotrophs are chemoorganoheterotrophs us the organic compunds as energy source and carbon source.

Key Differences

  1. In autotroph, photoautotroph uses chemical energy or sunlight to transform carbon dioxide and water into glucose and generates cellulose for cell walls. While, in heterotrophy, photoautotroph use only sunlight for energy but cannot utilize carbon dioxide as a source of carbon.
  2. Two types of autotroph are photoautotroph and chemoautotroph while two types of heterotroph are photoheterotroph and chemoheterotroph.
  3. Autotroph contains chloroplasts in their cells while heterotroph doesn’t contain these in their cells.
  4. Heterotrophs may be saprophytes and parasites while both of these are not found in autotrophs.
  5. Autotrophs can store sunlight, and chemical energy but heterotrophs are not capable of storing
  6. In autotrophic nutrition, food is synthesized from simple inorganic raw materials such as CO2 and water. While in heterotrophic nutrition, food is obtained directly or indirectly from autotrophs. This food is broken down with the help of enzymes.
  7. The presence of green pigment or chlorophyII is necessary for autotrophic nutrition. Bo pigment is required in heterotrophic nutrition.
  8. All green plants and some bacteria have autotrophic nutrition while animals and fungi have heterotrophic nutrition.
  9. In Autotrophic, organism prepares its own food and is not dependent on any other organism while heterotrophic means relying on the food produced by another organism.
  10. Major processes involved in the autotrophic are photosynthesis and chemosynthesis. The major processes involved in the heterotrophic nutrition are saprophytic, parasitic, holozoic and predation.
  11. Autotrophs fix their own energy from inorganic sources and heterotrophs depend upon energy and carbon fixed by some other organism.

Video Explanation