Reliance on prey derived nitrogen by the carnivorous plant Drosera rotundifolia decreases with increasing nitrogen deposition

Millett, J., Svensson, B.M., Newton, J. and Rydin, H. (2012) Reliance on prey derived nitrogen by the carnivorous plant Drosera rotundifolia decreases with increasing nitrogen deposition. New Phytologist, 195(1), pp. 182-188. (doi:10.1111/j.1469-8137.2012.04139.x)

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Abstract

Carnivory in plants is presumed to be an adaptation to a low-nutrient environment. Nitrogen (N) from carnivory is expected to become a less important component of the N budget as root N availability increases.

Here, we investigated the uptake of N via roots versus prey of the carnivorous plant Drosera rotundifolia growing in ombrotrophic bogs along a latitudinal N deposition gradient through Sweden, using a natural abundance stable isotope mass balance technique.

Drosera rotundifolia plants receiving the lowest level of N deposition obtained a greater proportion of N from prey (57%) than did plants on bogs with higher N deposition (22% at intermediate and 33% at the highest deposition). When adjusted for differences in plant mass, this pattern was also present when considering total prey N uptake (66, 26 and 26 μg prey N per plant at the low, intermediate and high N deposition sites, respectively). The pattern of mass-adjusted root N uptake was opposite to this (47, 75 and 86 μg N per plant).

Drosera rotundifolia plants in this study switched from reliance on prey N to reliance on root-derived N as a result of increasing N availability from atmospheric N deposition.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Newton, Dr Jason
Authors: Millett, J., Svensson, B.M., Newton, J., and Rydin, H.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre
Journal Name:New Phytologist
ISSN:0028-646X
Published Online:16 April 2012

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