Biologia Plantarum

, Volume 43, Issue 1, pp 113–119 | Cite as

Rootless Aquatic Plant Aldrovanda Vesiculosa: Physiological Polarity, Mineral Nutrition, and Importance of Carnivory

  • L. Adamec


Various ecophysiological investigations are presented in Aldrovanda vesiculosa, a rootless aquatic carnivorous plant. A distinct polarity of N, P, and Ca tissue content per dry mass (DM) unit was found along Aldrovanda shoots. Due to effective re-utilization, relatively small proportions of N (10 – 13 %) and P (33 – 43 %) are probably lost with senescent leaf whorls, while there is complete loss of all Ca, K, and Mg. The total content of starch and free sugars was 26 – 47 % DM along adult shoots, with the maximum in the 7th – 10th whorls. About 30 % of the total maximum sugar content was probably lost with dead whorls. The plant was found to take up 5 – 7 times more NH4+ to NO3 from a mineral medium. Under nearly-natural conditions in an outdoor cultivation container, catching of prey led to significantly more rapid growth than in unfed plants. DM of the fed controls was 48 % higher than in the unfed plants. The controls produced 0.69 branches per plant, while the unfed plants did not produced any. However, the N and P content per DM unit increased by 6 – 25 % in the apices and the first 6 whorls in the unfed variant, as compared to the fed controls. It may be suggested that carnivory is very important for Aldrovanda.

apical shoot growth basal shoot senescence growth effect of carnivory mineral and sugar content NH4+ NO3 HPO42− uptake 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Adamec, L.: Ecological requirements and recent European distribution of the aquatic carnivorous plant Aldrovanda vesiculosa L. —A review.-Folia geobot. phytotax. 30: 53–61, 1995a.Google Scholar
  2. Adamec, L.: Ecophysiological study of the aquatic carnivorous plant Aldrovanda vesiculosa L.-Acta bot. gall. 142: 681–684, 1995b.Google Scholar
  3. Adamec, L.: Photosynthetic characteristics of the aquatic carnivorous plant Aldrovanda vesiculosa.-Aquat. Bot. 59: 297–306, 1997a.Google Scholar
  4. Adamec, L.: How to grow Aldrovanda vesiculosa outdoors.-Carniv. Plant Newslett. 26: 85–88, 1997b.Google Scholar
  5. Adamec, L.: Mineral nutrition of carnivorous plants: A review.-Bot. Rev. 63: 273–299, 1997c.Google Scholar
  6. Adamec, L.: Seasonal growth dynamics and overwintering of the aquatic carnivorous plant Aldrovanda vesiculosa at experimental field sites.-Folia geobot. 34: 287–297, 1999.Google Scholar
  7. číŽková, H., Lukavská, J., Přibáň, K., Kopecký, J., Brabcová, H.: Carbohydrate levels in rhizomes of Phragmites australis at an oligotrophic and a eutrophic site: A preliminary study.-Folia geobot. phytotax. 31: 111–118, 1996.Google Scholar
  8. Fabian-Galan, G., Salageanu, N.: Considerations on the nutrition of certain carnivorous plants (Drosera capensis and Aldrovanda vesiculosa).-Rev. roum. Biol. Sér. Bot. 13: 275–280, 1968.Google Scholar
  9. Friday, L.E.: Rapid turnover of traps in Utricularia vulgaris L.-Oecologia 80: 272–277, 1989.Google Scholar
  10. Friday, L.E., Quarmby, C.: Uptake and translocation of prey-derived 15N and 32P in Utricularia vulgaris L.-New Phytol. 126: 273–281, 1994.Google Scholar
  11. Kamiński, R.: Studies on the ecology of Aldrovanda vesiculosa L. I. Ecological differentiation of A. vesiculosa population under the influence of chemical factors in the habitat.-Ekol. pol. 35: 559–590, 1987a.Google Scholar
  12. Kamiński, R.: Studies on the ecology of Aldrovanda vesiculosa L. II. Organic substances, physical and biotic factors and the growth and development of A. vesiculosa.-Ekol. pol. 35: 591–609, 1987b.Google Scholar
  13. Kamiński R., Adamec L., Breckpot C.: Report on recent sites of Aldrovanda vesiculosa (Droseraceae) in Poland.-Fragm. flor. Geobot. 41: 291–294, 1996.Google Scholar
  14. Lloyd, F.E.: The Carnivorous Plants. (Chronica Botanica Vol. 9).-Waltham 1942.Google Scholar
  15. Mazrimas, J.A.: Aldrovanda.-Carniv. Plant Newslett. 7: 102–103, 1978.Google Scholar
  16. Moeller, R.E.: The temperature-determined growing season of a submerged hydrophyte: tissue chemistry and biomass turnover of Utricularia purpurea.-Freshwater Biol. 10: 391–400, 1980.Google Scholar
  17. Pechar, L.: Use of the acetone-methanol mixture for extraction and spectrophotometric determination of chlorophyll a in phytoplankton.-Arch. Hydrobiol. 78(Suppl): 99–117, 1987.Google Scholar
  18. Schuurkes, J.A.A.R., Kok, C.J., Den Hartog, C.: Ammonium and nitrate uptake by aquatic plants from poorly buffered and acidified waters.-Aquat. Bot. 24: 131–146, 1986.Google Scholar
  19. Winston, R.D., Gorham, P.R.: Turions and dormancy states in Utricularia vulgaris.-Can. J. Bot. 57: 2740–2749, 1979.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. Adamec
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Botany of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Section of Plant EcologyTřeboňCzech Republic e-mail

Personalised recommendations