By: 
Jonathan Millett, Centre for Hydrological and Ecosystem Science, Loughborough University, UK
Host: 
Brita Svensson, Ecology and Genetics, UU
Location: 
Lecture hall 3, EBC, UU (Norbyvägen 14)
Date: 
2013-11-21
Time: 
14:00 - 15:00
‘Pollutant turns fly-traps veggie’: the nitrogen nutrition of the carnivorous plant Drosera rotundifolia*

Carnivorous plants attract, capture and digest animal prey.  This carnivorous habit has evolved as a mechanism for competing in low nutrient environments. Carnivorous plants are interesting for studying plant nutrition because: they obtain nutrients through two spatially distinct sources (traps and roots), are found mainly in low nutrient environments (which are more sensitive to changes in nutrient availability) and display a large degree of phenotypic plasticity in response to nutrient availability. I will discuss results from my studies of the carnivorous plant Drosera rotundifolia (described by Darwin as a ’most sagacious animal’) in which I measured responses to atmospheric nitrogen deposition using a European deposition gradient. The results of which were summarised by the BBC as: ’Pollutant turns fly-traps veggie’ and by National Geographic as ’Meat-Eating Plants Getting “Full” On Pollution’.