I was just wondering what Nepenthes species is the best in the gathering of nutrients. I would like to hear your guess or perhaps even fact. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile.gif[/img]
No doubt every natural species has evolved to suit it’s own environment perfectly and it also depends a lot on the number of bugs and their size in that given environment of course...
There are several ways to judge the effectiveness of Nepenthes.
1) Overall gathering of nutrients.
Sure a Rajah can produce monstrous pitchers, however they grow very slow so in the time they create one pitcher, another species might have produced loads more and in the end result have catched more prey in total.
- So what is the most effective Nepenthes? -> “Amount of gathered nutrients of the whole plant over the period when it’s starts as a seed and lets say 10 years after...”
Taking into account: Everything. For example:
Reproductive rate; nutrients gathered by offspring also counts. Otherwise it wouldn’t be fair if the plant ‘decided’ to make small pitchers and stay small, and make lots of offspring instead of growing larger itself.
Basically it’s a balance of how much nutrients the plant spends and received back as total. (Effectiveness of the leaf structure/size (photosynthesis) also plays a big role in a plants growth rate, however this is not counted as total nutrients received through pitchers.)
2) Effectiveness of a single pitcher. (Choose lower or upper pitcher type)
Personally I find this one more interesting.
- What single pitcher has the best results of gathering nutrients once it has finished developing.
(Not taking into account how long it takes to develop or the required resources to make one.)
The answer to this question will probably favour the more special and/or elaborately designed pitchers. Bicalcarata having the extra teeth for increased effectiveness no doubt. Lowii serving as bird toilet... Perhaps against expectations a way better source for nutrients than catching mere insects?
To make this competition fair for the smaller –yet special- traps (aristolochioides for example) don’t take the space available to store the catched insects into account. (For example; prey that would normally be catched however they can't anymore due to the small pitcher already being completely full...)
Okey, take your pick and try to explain why you’ve made that choice. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/laugh.gif[/img]