The capacity to switch between trophic modes

A mixotroph is an organism that can use a mix of different sources of energy and carbon. Usually this means that it may be either autotroph or heterotroph at different times in its life. Also possible are alternations between photo- and chemotrophy, or between litho- and organotrophy. Mixotrophs can be either eukaryotes or prokaryotes.[1]

Flowchart to determine if a species is autotroph, heterotroph, or a subtype

References Edit

  1. Eiler, Alexander 2006. Evidence for the ubiquity of mixotrophic bacteria in the upper ocean: implications and consequences Appl Environ Microbiol 72: 7431–7437; doi: 10.1128/AEM.01559-06.