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Abstract Detail

Symbioses: Plant, Animal, and Microbe Interactions

Stephens, Jessica [1], Determann, Ron [2], Kessler, Andre [3], Folkerts, Debbie [4], Raguso, Robert [5], Malmberg, Russell [6].

Carnivorous plant syndromes: Suites of phenotypic traits associate with prey captured across the genus Sarracenia.

Carnivorous plants display a tremendous amount of morphological variation in trapping structures that have been hypothesized to be the result of selective pressures to specialization in prey capture. While there have been studies to quantify prey types across carnivorous plant species, few studies have directly measured both trapping traits and prey capture. Here, we identified captured prey and measured nine trapping traits thought to influence prey capture across the New World pitcher plant genus Sarracenia. After controlling for phylogeny, we found significant covariation in trapping traits so that height was positively correlated with width of the pitcher mouth (peristome) and trichome density under the hood of the pitcher. Height was negatively correlated with trichome density along the exterior of the pitcher and the ala width. Furthermore, we found that these covarying suites of traits were highly correlated with the type of prey they captured. Smaller pitcher plants caught more ground crawling prey (e.g., ants, millipedes, snails) and taller species caught more flying prey types (e.g., bees, moths, butterflies). These results support the hypothesis that carnivorous plants have evolved suites of covarying traits/carnivorous syndromes for prey specialization and that this specialization may be responsible for the large variation in trapping morphology within Sarracenia.

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1 - University of Pittsburgh
2 - Atlanta Botanical Garden
3 - E445 Corson Hall, Ithaca, NY, 14853, United States
4 - Auburn University
5 - Cornell University, Dept. Of Neurobiology And Behavior, W355 Mudd Hall, 215 Tower Road, Ithaca, NY, 14853, United States
6 - University of Georgia

pitcher plant
functional traits

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: 35, Symbioses: Plant, Animal, and Microbe Interactions
Location: 104/Mayo Civic Center
Date: Wednesday, July 25th, 2018
Time: 9:30 AM
Number: 35007
Abstract ID:149
Candidate for Awards:None

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