, Volume 49, Issue 2, pp 253–258 | Cite as

Photosynthetic characterization of Australian pitcher plant Cephalotus follicularis

  • A. PavlovičEmail author
Original Papers


Australian carnivorous pitcher plant Cephalotus follicularis Labill. produces two types of leaves. During the spring time, the plant produces a foliage type of noncarnivorous leaf called lamina. Later, the second type of leaf is produced — carnivorous pitcher. Using simultaneous measurements of gas exchange and chlorophyll (Chl) fluorescence photosynthetic efficiency of these two distinct forms of leaves were compared. In addition stomatal density, an important component of gas exchange, and Chl concentration were also determined. Pitcher trap had lower net photosynthetic rate (P N) in comparison to noncarnivorous lamina, whereas the rate of respiration (R D) was not significantly different. This was in accordance with lower stomatal density and Chl concentration in the pitcher trap. On the other hand maximum quantum yield of PSII (Fv/Fm) and effective quantum yield of photochemical energy conversion in PSII (ΦPSII) was not significantly different. Nonphotochemical quenching (NPQ) was significantly higher in the lamina at higher irradiance. These data are in accordance with hypothesis that changing the leaf shape in carnivorous plants to make it a better trap generally makes it less efficient at photosynthesis. However, the pitcher of Cephalotus had much higher P N than it was expected from the data set of the genus Nepenthes. Because it is not possible to optimize for contrasting function such as photosynthesis and carnivory, it is hypothesized that Cephalotus pitchers are less elaborated for carnivorous function than the pitchers of Nepenthes.

Additional key words

carnivorous plants Cephalotus chlorophyll chlorophyll fluorescence pitcher plants photosynthesis respiration stomatal density 



minimal fluorescence in dark-adapted state


maximal fluorescence in dark-adapted state


maximal fluorescence in light-adapted state


variable fluorescence


maximal quantum yield of PSII


stomatal conductance


nonphotochemical quenching


photosynthetic active radiation


net photosynthetic rate


maximal net rate of photosynthesis at saturating irradiance


rate of respiration


effective quantum yield of photochemical energy conversion in PSII


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This work was supported by grant VEGA 1/0040/09.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Plant Physiology, Faculty of Natural SciencesComenius University in BratislavaBratislavaSlovakia

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