Student Projects/Types of nutrition
Heterotrophic Nutrition[edit | edit source]
Each organism is adapted to its environment. The form of nutrition differs depending on the type and availability of food material as well as how it is obtained by the organism. For example, whether the food source is stationary or mobile, would allow for differences in how the food is accessed and what is the nutritive apparatus used by a cow and a lion. There is a range of strategies by which the food is taken in and used by the organism. Some organisms break-down the food material outside the body and then absorb it. Examples are fungi like bread moulds, yeast and mushrooms. Others take in whole material and break it down inside their bodies. What can be taken in and broken down depends on the body design and functioning. Some other organisms derive nutrition from plants or animals without killing them. This parasitic nutritive strategy is used by a wide variety of organisms like cuscuta, ticks, lice, leeches and tape-worms.
Autotrophic Nutrition[edit | edit source]
Carbon and energy requirements of the autotrophic organism are fulfilled by photosynthesis. It is the process by which autotrophs take in substances from the outside and convert them into stored forms of energy. This material is taken in the form of carbon dioxide and water which is converted into carbohydrates in the presence of sunlight and chlorophyll. Carbohydrates are utilised for providing energy to the plant. We will study how this takes place in the next section. The carbohydrates which are not used immediately are stored in the form of starch, which serves as the internal energy reserve to be used as and when required by the plant. A somewhat similar situation is seen in us where some of the energy derived from the food we eat is stored in our body in the form of glycogen.