Food or sex; pollinator–prey conflict in carnivorous plants

Authors


  • Editor, T.J. De Jong

Abstract

Carnivorous plants potentially trap their own pollinators and it has been argued that considerable spatial separation of flowers and traps has evolved to protect pollinators. We investigated flower-trap separation of Drosera and Utricularia. Short Drosera had a greater element of floral–trap separation than tall Drosera. Such a relationship is unexpected for plants whose peduncles were evolved to protect their pollinators. Utricularia can not trap pollinators but this genus still produces exceptionally long peduncles. We propose that flower-trap separation evolved because carnivorous plants are often short and need to project their flowers well above ground level to make them more attractive to pollinators.

Ancillary