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Thread: Natural History Magazine Article

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    The October 2006 issue of Natural History has a 7 page article on Nepenthes by Jonathan Moran. Gives a good introduction to Nepenthes for readers who may be learning about them for the first time. But also touches on the author's research with analyzing plants for their source of nitrogen intake, confirming that ampullaria does get its N from leaf litter falling to the forest floor.

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    Always a newbie glider14's Avatar
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    does it say if N. ampullaria make digestive fluids? i mean take a look at N. eyame, dubia, inermis, lowii, an ephiatta(sp?). they all have their lids hertically or have close to no lid at all! how does this protect from rainwater coming in?
    Alex
    Everything is explainable. The seemingly unexplainable is but a result of our insufficient knowledge.- Hans Brewer

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    No, he doesn't go into too much detail. He does say that the "stable-nitrogen-isotope analysis" shows that ampullaria growing out in the open receive the bulk of their N from insects whereas the opposite is true for the ones in the forest. So far he considers ampullaria to be unique among Nepenthes in getting some of its nutrients from vegetative matter. Also of interest is that the same analysis shows that albomarginata get most of its N from termites, not from ants.

    The discussion of the Nitrogen-15 and Nitrogen-14 isotopes is as technical as the article gets. Mostly he writes about the well known species and the lures they use to attract insects. Such as the upper pitchers of rafflesianna give off a sweet fragrance thereby attracting a larger range of insects. N.lowii pitchers secrete a sugary substance attractive to tree shrews that end up using the trap as a toilet.

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