The Carnivorous Collection


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Ten volatile samples from flowers, ten from traps, and ten control samples were collected from each of 10 individual plants of each species. All volatile collections were conducted on a sunny days from 10 AM to 4 PM. Additional samples were collected in the laboratory using potted mature plants collected as seedlings from the field. In the dynamic headspace collection a , the intact flower head or trap was housed in a glass container i.

The glass container consisted of two parts that tightly closed together using ground glass fittings. The airflow in the headspace collection system was 0. Control samples were collected with the above system but without flowers or traps to distinguish between floral and trap compounds and ambient contaminants. Immediately after volatile collection in the field, Tenax adsorbents were sealed in aluminium foils and transported to the laboratory in dry ice.

An experiment at Arthur Pass December —January was conducted to determine the role of colour in resolving pollinator-prey conflict in D. Six colours white, yellow, green, red, transparent, and black were tested for colour preferences of the flower visitors and prey. White flower colour of Drosera species , yellow, and red are common flower colours, green and red are similar to trap colours, while transparent and black may be less visible to insects. Coloured discs of mm diameter and 3.

Each disc was positioned cm above and parallel to the ground using a wooden stick 3-mm diameter. Transparent plastic discs were included to provide a negative control. Insects were trapped on the discs over 10 d. In order to construct plastic models of carnivorous traps and flowers with appropriate colours, reflectance spectra of the various natural and model colours were measured Figs 1S, 2S and 3S using an S spectrophotometer Ocean optics, FL, USA.

White and red discs mm diameter and 3. Each of the three separation distances were replicated ten times assigned in ten rows using a randomized block design. Two synthetic chemical blends were prepared that mimicked the flower and trap odours of D. The trap odour blend contained linalool, geranyl acetone, E -beta-farnesene and plumbagin in a ratio of 1.

Black felt was a neutral visual signal for insects and slowly released the chemicals for a week unpublished. After impregnation with either synthetic blend, the felt pieces were placed inside sticky cylinders in a field experiment that tested: 1 trap odour blend, 2 floral odour blend, 3 the combination of trap and floral odour blends and 4 a hexane control with no odour.

Five treatments were tested in each of five rows in a randomized block design. Catch was recorded weekly from traps in the field October-November Paired pink and green discs mm diameter and 3. In this experiment, four treatments were tested: 1 pink disc and green disc without odour to investigate the importance of visual cues only , 2 pink disc with floral odour and green disc with trap odour to investigate the interaction of visual and chemical cues emitted from the plants , 3 clear disc with floral odour and clear disc with trap odour to investigate the importance of chemical cues alone , and 4 a pair of clear discs without odour were used as a blank treatment to test for passive catch levels.


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Each of the treatments was placed at random in a row for a total of ten rows. The reflectance spectra of the petals and traps of D. The light pink discs reflected light in wavelengths similar to the D. The mean distances between flower and nearest trap were analysed by one-way analysis of variance ANOVA.

We tested for differences in flower visitor escape frequencies from the traps of the three plant species with a chi-square test.

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The preferences of flower visitors and other insects for colours or for odour blends were tested by two-way ANOVA on square root transformed counts. Differences in capture frequencies between red and white discs representing spatial separations between flower and trap of D. Differences between captures on disc pairs of pink and green no odours , pink floral odour and green trap odour , clear floral and clear trap , or clear no odour and clear no odour were analysed by exact binomial tests conditioned on equal frequencies.

Statistical analyses were performed by JMP statistical software How to cite this article : El-Sayed, A. Pollinator-prey conflicts in carnivorous plants: When flower and trap properties mean life or death. Thanks to the Department of Conservation for issuing the permit that allowed us to conduct this work in national parks both in the North and South Islands.

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Photo of D. We thank the two anonymous reviewers whose comments and suggestions helped improve and clarify this manuscript. Author Contributions A. All authors contributed to the design of experiments and reviewing the manuscript. National Center for Biotechnology Information , U.

Sci Rep. Published online Feb Ashraf M. El-Sayed , a, 1 John A. Byers , 2 and David M. Suckling 1, 3.

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John A. Byers 2 Department of Entomology Robert H. David M. Author information Article notes Copyright and License information Disclaimer. Received Nov 25; Accepted Jan This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.

Pollinator-prey conflicts in carnivorous plants: When flower and trap properties mean life or death

This article has been cited by other articles in PMC. Abstract Insect-pollinated carnivorous plants are expected to have higher fitness if they resolve pollinator-prey conflicts by sparing insects pollinating their flowers while trapping prey insects. Results Spatial separation of flowers and traps The three Drosera species selected for this study differed with regard to their arrangement of flowers and traps Fig.

Open in a separate window. Figure 1.


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  • Figure 2. Flower visitors and prey insects Only Diptera flies of the families Syrphidae hover flies , Tachinidae tachinid flies , and Muscidae house flies were common flower visitors and pollinators of the three carnivorous plants. Floral and trap volatiles Analysis of the headspace of the flowers and traps of D.

    Table 1 Floral and trap headspace volatiles identified from the sundew, Drosera auriculata. Colour preferences of flower visitors and other insects Visual cues significantly affected preference of the flower visitors to different coloured discs Fig.


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    • Figure 3. Attraction of flower-visiting insects and other insects to sticky discs of various colours. Spatial separation and visual cues in resolving pollinator-prey conflict in D. Figure 4. Trapping flower-visiting insects and other insects on red and white sticky discs mounted next to each other in various arrangements. Odour in resolving pollinator-prey conflict in D. Figure 5. Attraction of flower-visiting insects and other insects to clear sticky cylinder baited with trap odour, floral odour, both floral and trap odour, and no odour.

      Colour and odour in resolving pollinator-prey conflict in D. Figure 6. Trapping flower-visiting insects and other insects on green and pink sticky discs mounted next to each other with floral and trap odour in various arrangements. Discussion The three sundew species we investigated exhibit different roles for visual and chemical cues as well as spatial separation between flower and traps to lessen the pollinator-prey conflict. Methods Plants, study sites The three carnivorous Drosera species we studied utilize the same sticky trap mechanism Fig.

      Spatial separation of flowers and traps The three Drosera species showed morphological difference in the flower trap arrangement. Flower visitors and prey insects For D. Escape of flower visitors from traps The low proportion of flower visitors in traps found in previous studies could be due to escape and possible learning to avoid traps after escape.

      Colour preferences of flower visitors and other insects An experiment at Arthur Pass December —January was conducted to determine the role of colour in resolving pollinator-prey conflict in D. Spatial separation of visual cues in resolving pollinator-prey conflict in D. Statistical data analysis The mean distances between flower and nearest trap were analysed by one-way analysis of variance ANOVA. Supplementary Material Supplementary Information: Click here to view.

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      Footnotes Author Contributions A. References Lowrie A. Carnivorous plant of Australia. Carnivorous plant of New Zealand. Ecosphere publication , Auckland, New Zealand Carnivorous Plants of the United States and Canada. The plants came really well packed and protected, the quality of the plants was far better than I had imagined. Plants even better than in the photo, really great value! Will be back for further plants soon.

      The plants cane well packaged and have since thrived a great set of plants to start anyone off. Fast delivery of beautiful healthy plants. So well packaged.

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