The contribution of insect prey to the total nitrogen content of sundews (Drosera spp.) determined in situ by stable isotope analysis

Millett, J., Jones, R.I. and Waldron, S. (2003) The contribution of insect prey to the total nitrogen content of sundews (Drosera spp.) determined in situ by stable isotope analysis. New Phytologist, 158(3), pp. 527-534. (doi:10.1046/j.1469-8137.2003.00763.x)

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1046/j.1469-8137.2003.00763.x

Abstract

The contribution of insect prey to total N in the carnivorous plants, Drosera rotundifolia and D. intermedia, was quantified in situ and without any experimental manipulation using natural abundance stable isotope analysis. Samples of D. rotundifolia and D. intermedia, insects and noncarnivorous reference plants were collected from three contrasting locations across Britain. The proportion of Drosera nitrogen obtained from insect prey was calculated by a mixing model using δ<sup>15</sup>N values from the different plant groups. The mean proportion of Drosera N derived from prey was 50%. There were significant differences in this proportion between sites, and significant differences within sites. There were significant differences between plant tissues and a significant negative relationship between the proportion of N derived from prey and the C : N ratio of Drosera tissues. There was little evidence of differences in prey capture/utilisation in response to N availability, possibly due to a limited range in available N between the sites. However, evidence of a positive benefit of prey capture was apparent through the decrease in C : N ratio with increasing prey N concentrations in the plants.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Waldron, Professor Susan
Authors: Millett, J., Jones, R.I., and Waldron, S.
Subjects:Q Science > QK Botany
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre
Journal Name:New Phytologist
Publisher:Blackwell Publishing
ISSN:0028-646X
Copyright Holders:© Copyright 2003 New Phytologist
First Published:First published in New Phytologist 158(3):527-534
Publisher Policy:Reproduced with the permission of the publisher

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