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

Abstract

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.

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Adamec, L. Rootless Aquatic Plant Aldrovanda Vesiculosa: Physiological Polarity, Mineral Nutrition, and Importance of Carnivory. Biologia Plantarum 43, 113–119 (2000). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1026567300241

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  • apical shoot growth
  • basal shoot senescence
  • growth effect of carnivory
  • mineral and sugar content
  • NH4 +
  • NO3
  • HPO4 2− uptake