Food is necessary for all living creatures. And what do you call an organism that makes its own food?
An autotroph is a living thing that can make its own sustenance from light, water, carbon dioxide, or other substances. Autotrophs are also referred to as producers since they make their own nourishment.
Plants are the most well-known autotrophs, although autotrophic creatures come in a wide variety of forms. Algae, which live in water and are known as seaweed in their bigger forms, are autotrophic.
Autotrophs include phytoplankton, which are microscopic creatures that live in the water. Autotrophic bacteria are bacteria that feed on their own waste.
The majority of autotrophs get their food via a process known as photosynthesis. Autotrophs utilize the sun’s energy to transform water from the soil and carbon dioxide from the air into a nutrition called glucose via photosynthesis. Glucose is a sugar that comes in a variety of forms.
Glucose provides energy to plants. Glucose is also used by plants to generate cellulose, which is used by them to grow and construct cell walls.
All plants with green leaves, from the smallest mosses to the tallest fir trees, use photosynthesis to synthesize, or make, their own sustenance. Photosynthesis is also carried out by algae, phytoplankton, and certain bacteria.
Rather of photosynthesis, certain uncommon autotrophs use a mechanism called chemosynthesis to manufacture food. Chemosynthesis is a kind of autotrophic food production that does not rely on solar energy. Instead, they use chemical processes to produce food, often mixing hydrogen sulfide or methane with oxygen.
Chemosynthetic organisms exist in harsh conditions where the toxic chemicals required for oxidation may be found. Bacteria in active volcanoes, for example, oxidize sulfur to make their own food. Bacteria capable of chemosynthesis have been discovered in hot springs in Yellowstone National Park in the US states of Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana.
Chemosynthesis is also used by bacteria that reside in the deep ocean near hydrothermal vents to make food. A narrow fracture on the bottom is known as a hydrothermal vent.
Seawater seeps into the heated, partially molten rock below via the crevice. The scalding water then returns to the ocean, carrying minerals from the hot rock with it. Hydrogen sulfide, which the bacteria utilize in chemosynthesis, is one of these minerals.
Cold seeps on the bottom have also been discovered with autotrophic bacteria that make food via chemosynthesis. Hydrogen sulfide and methane leak out from under the bottom during cold seeps, mixing with the ocean water and dissolved CO2. These compounds are oxidized by autotrophic bacteria to create energy.
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