Leaf absorption of mineral nutrients in carnivorous plants stimulates root nutrient uptake

Authors

  • Lubomír Adamec

    Corresponding author
    1. Institute of Botany of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Section of Plant Ecology, Dukelská 135, CZ-379 82 Třeboň, Czech Republic
      Author for correspondence: Lubomír Adamec Tel: +420 333 721156 Fax: +420 333 721136 Email: adamec@butbn.cas.cz
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Author for correspondence: Lubomír Adamec Tel: +420 333 721156 Fax: +420 333 721136 Email: adamec@butbn.cas.cz

Summary

  • • The mineral nutrition of terrestrial carnivorous plants was investigated under glasshouse conditions to elucidate ecophysiological adaptations of this plant group.
  • • In Drosera capillaris and D. capensis, absorption of N, P, K, and Mg from insects was relatively efficient (> 43%), whereas that of Ca was not. Carnivorous plants (D. capensis, D. peltata, D. scorpioides, and Dionaea muscipula) exhibited a high efficiency of re-utilization of N (70–82%), P (51–92%), and K (41–99%) from senescing leaves. Re-utilization of Mg was low or negative, and that of Ca highly negative.
  • • In a growth experiment, foliar nutrient supply led to markedly increased growth and nutrient accumulation in D. capillaris, D. aliciae, and D. spathulata. In all the three species tested it was demonstrated that leaf-supplied nutrients were accumulated in the plant biomass and even stimulated root nutrient uptake.
  • • These results suggest that the main physiological effect of leaf nutrient absorption from prey is a stimulation of root nutrient uptake.

Ancillary