CLaire Mipro, Growth and Nutrient Allocation in Relationship to Availability in Nepenthes Carnivorous Plants
Nepenthes Alata are carnivorous plants that produce specialized leaves called pitchers to supplement nitrogen intake in typically nutrient deprived soil. Pitchers are a type of pitfall trap, which contain water with digestive enzymes, used to digest captured prey (typically crawling insects), providing essential nutrients to the rest of the plant.
Previous studies of different carnivorous species have shown that nitrogen availability affects the number of pitchers formed, with higher availability generally reducing the number of pitchers produced. (Butler & Ellison, 2007; Ellison & Gotelli, 2002; Shultze et al., 1997)
This study investigated the impacts of soil nitrogen levels on pitcher formation, biomass, growth, and nitrogen allocation, in N. alata, a species that has not been extensively studied in this regard.
It was predicted that higher soil nitrogen would result in less carnivory expression, with more nitrogen allocated to plant leaf tissue and therefore more biomass.
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