Autotrophic and heterotrophic nutrition are two different ways in which organisms obtain their energy and nutrients.
Autotrophic nutrition is a process by which an organism produces its own food using inorganic substances and energy from the sun or other sources. Plants and some bacteria are examples of autotrophic organisms. They use a process called photosynthesis to convert sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide into glucose and oxygen. This process allows them to produce their own food and be self-sufficient.
On the other hand, heterotrophic nutrition is a process by which an organism obtains its food and energy by consuming other organisms or organic matter. Animals and most fungi are examples of heterotrophic organisms. They rely on other organisms, whether they are plants or other animals, to obtain their nutrients and energy. Heterotrophs break down complex organic molecules into simpler ones that can be used for their metabolism and energy needs.
The key difference between autotrophic and heterotrophic nutrition is that autotrophic organisms can produce their own food while heterotrophic organisms must rely on other organisms for their food and energy. Autotrophs are the primary producers in a food chain or ecosystem, while heterotrophs are consumers that depend on autotrophs or other heterotrophs for their survival.