Loughborough University
10.1007_s11104-017-3484-6.pdf (1.05 MB)

Environmental differences between sites control the diet and nutrition of the carnivorous plant Drosera rotundifolia

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posted on 2017-11-09, 16:12 authored by Joni CookJoni Cook, Jason Newton, Jonathan MillettJonathan Millett
Background and Aims Carnivorous plants are sensitive to small changes in resource availability, but few previous studies have examined how differences in nutrient and prey availability affect investment in and the benefit of carnivory. We studied the impact of site-level differences in resource availability on ecophysiological traits of carnivory for Drosera rotundifolia L. Methods We measured prey availability, investment in carnivory (leaf stickiness), prey capture and diet of plants growing in two bogs with differences in N deposition and plant available N: Cors Fochno (0.62 g m⁻² yr⁻¹, 353 µg l⁻¹), Whixall Moss (1.37 g m⁻² yr⁻¹, 1505 µg l⁻¹). The total N amount per plant and the contributions of prey/root N to the plants’ N budget were calculated using a single isotope natural abundance method. Results Plants at Whixall Moss invested less in carnivory, were less likely to capture prey, and were less reliant on prey-derived N (25.5% compared with 49.4%). Actual prey capture did not differ between sites. Diet composition differed – Cors Fochno plants captured 62% greater proportions of Diptera. Conclusions Our results show site-level differences in plant diet and nutrition consistent with differences in resource availability. Similarity in actual prey capture may be explained by differences in leaf stickiness and prey abundance.


UK Natural Environment Research Council through the Life Science Mass Spectrometry Facility (Grant number EK188-15/11)



  • Social Sciences


  • Geography and Environment

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Plant and Soil


COOK, J.L., NEWTON, J. and MILLETT, J., 2018. Environmental differences between sites control the diet and nutrition of the carnivorous plant Drosera rotundifolia. Plant and Soil, 423 (1–2), pp.41–58


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This article has been published as Open Access by Springer. It is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.




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United Kingdom