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Thread: Nitrogen Intake of CPs

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    Nitrogen Intake of CPs

    Here's a chart that sums up a very well thought out, 1997 peer-reviewed study on the nitrogen intake of carnivorous plants, with a focus on Nepenthes mirabilis, Cephalotus follicularis, and Darlingtonia californica.

    I was able to access the journal through my university's database and have it saved if anyone would like to read the entire piece. Otherwise, if you try to find it through Google Scholar or JSTOR, you will have to pay $35 or thereabouts (hence why I will not be posting more than the chart).




    As you can see, Cephalotus seems to be acquiring only about a quarter of its nitrogen through insects in the pitchers, leading us to believe that roughly 75% of its nitrogen intake, with a standard deviation of .06, is through the soil (particularly at a young age). Nepenthes mirabilis seems to be acquiring a much higher level of its nitrogen from insects, with roughly 40% nitrogen coming from the soil or perhaps from nitrogen fixing bacteria. I'm sure you can all read a chart, so this is probably redundant commentary.


    Anyway, I'm sure many of you have already read this journal, but I found it interesting enough to share.



    The Nitrogen Supply from Soils and Insects during Growth of the Pitcher Plants Nepenthes mirabilis, Cephalotus follicularis and Darlingtonia californica
    Author(s): W. Schulze, E. D. Schulze, J. S. Pate, A. N. Gillison
    Reviewed work(s):
    Source: Oecologia, Vol. 112, No. 4 (1997), pp. 464-471

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    God must have an interesting sense of humor Wesley's Avatar
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    Thanks for the post! Oh the joys of having access to university databases! I just pulled the article up as well and downloaded. Interesting read. I'd like to see (or participate) in newer research since this is over a decade old.
    ~Wes~

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    I'd like to also add that this is a pretty valuable lesson for those who are growing very small, new plants. The article mentioned that both Nepenthes and Cephalotus rely almost entirely on soil Nitrogen at a young age. This could explain, at least partially, why people who do not fertilize the soil have such a difficult time seeing growth in small plants. Just a hypothesis, of course, as specific species of nepenthes tend to grow at drastically different rates, regardless.

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    Any public library should have a jstor account and can download it for you. Posting the paper in it's entirety is probably a violation of jstor's Terms and Conditions of Use and intellectual property laws.

    This article was published in the Summer/Fall 2011 issue of the Carnivorous Plant Newsletter and cites the Schulze studies:

    Natural abundance of stable isotopes reveals the diversity of carnivorous plant diets
    Grand Hotel... always the same. People come, people go. Nothing ever happens.

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    Thanks, Warren. I was going to ask if anyone knew of any more recent articles, and that one is exactly what I had in mind.

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    That's a remarkably low number for rosetted Drosera. Does this suggest that they'd benefit from soil fertilization?

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