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Thread: Nepenthes pitcher plant inflation- mechanism?

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    CPlantaholic's Avatar
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    Nepenthes pitcher plant inflation- mechanism?

    Hi everyone,
    I've been searching to no avail as to the mechanism behind Nepenthes pitcher inflation---I wanted to add this info to a presentation I plan to give this Wednesday.

    So my understanding at the moment is that a gas is released in the pitcher, allowing it to inflate. Would this gas be CO2 or oxygen? Also, is this gas developing from increased respiration on the inner cells of the pitcher, the entire pitcher, or none of the above?

    Thanks in advance for your input.

    Aaron
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    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
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    It could be water vapor if the pressure inside is low enough. I'm really not at all sure. Perhaps some of the Nepenthes monographs would be a good place to look.
    ~Joe
    o//~ Livin' like a bug ain't easy / My old clothes don't seem to fit me /
    I got little tiny bug feet / I don't really know what bugs eat /
    Don't want no one steppin' on me / Now I'm sympathizin' with fleas /
    Livin' like a bug ain't easy / Livin' like a bug ain't easy... o//~

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    Hear the Call of Nepenthes carnivoure12's Avatar
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    I always thought the pitcher just expanded as the cells grew and mulltiplied, I don't think they inflate like a balloon does.
    -Carnivoure12
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    DETHCHEEZ's Avatar
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    Whooo!!! You Just Blow My Mind...

    That's the 1st time I've ever heard anything about that
    I thought they just grew & inflate was just a term
    Didn't relies that there was a gas inside them that actually inflated them
    Trip Out

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    Hear the Call of Nepenthes carnivoure12's Avatar
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    I don't think the gas really inflates it...
    -Carnivoure12
    →Growlist

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    PaulJ69's Avatar
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    I've been wondering the same thing for some time now. There has to be a gas in there, not necessarily makes it inflates but, but what kind of gas is it?

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    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
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    I'm also kind of doubtful that gas is what allows the pitcher to inflate. I think it might actually make more sense for the pressure inside the unopened pitcher to be lower than outside; that way as the tissue grows, it's flexed inwards, making it stronger for holding the pitcher contents. (Think reinforced concrete.) But what's in there is still a good question. I know you can use unopened pitcher fluid as an emergency clean water supply if you're out in the jungle - it's apparently aseptic inside while the pitcher is sealed.
    ~Joe
    o//~ Livin' like a bug ain't easy / My old clothes don't seem to fit me /
    I got little tiny bug feet / I don't really know what bugs eat /
    Don't want no one steppin' on me / Now I'm sympathizin' with fleas /
    Livin' like a bug ain't easy / Livin' like a bug ain't easy... o//~

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    CPlantaholic's Avatar
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    Here's the time-lapse video that originally made me wonder (from the Private Life of Plants by David Attenborough):
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=trWzDlRvv1M (skip to the 2 minute mark)
    Visit The Sundew Grow Guides: http://www.growsundews.com
    New- Drosera video tours & other sundew info, now on YouTube!

    Happy Growing!

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