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Heterotrophic plants do not have the capacity to produce enough food to sustain them. Consequently, heterotrophic nutrition refers to acquiring complex, already-made food. These types of plant food provide energy and molecules and atoms that will help the plant repair or build new protoplasm. Heterotrophic nutrition also offers vitamins, co-enzymes and ions that are crucial for the plant’s chemical processes.

There are four main types of heterotrophic nutrition:

  1. Insectivorous - insect eating
  2. Symbiotic - cooperate with another organism for their mutual benefit
  3. Parasitic - live on another organism
  4. Saprophytic - decomposers

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