Friday, March 5, 2010

Carnivorous pitcher plant a Boreal Forest beauty

Northern Ontario pitcher plant
There are two carnivorous plants that I know about around Red Lake. The largest is the pitcher plant shown above. The other is the tiny sundew.



Pitcher plants are quite common in bogs.




There's a good article about them in this month's National Geographic. It explains that the insects that fall into the pitcher are digested for their nitrogen and phosphorus which is used by the plants to help them photosynthesize by making light-harvesting enyzmes.


Pitcher plants are not very good at photosynthesis. For one thing, they don't have much in the way of leaves (just the pitcher).


By living in a bog they get a lot of sunshine since there are no overhanging trees. But the soil there is poor in nitrogen and phosphorus. So they get it from their prey which fall into the liquid in the pitcher and are digested by enzymes created by the plant as well as by other organisms that live in the liquid.


It's a pretty interesting way of adapting.



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1 comment:

Chris said...

Dan,I just want to thank you for all your blogs thru this winter.It just makes me want to go fishing all the more and we are really looking forward to our trip this August.Keep up the good work and we`ll see you soon.