The Roots of Carnivorous Plants

  title={The Roots of Carnivorous Plants},
  author={Wolfram Adlassnig and Marianne Peroutka and Hans Lambers and Irene Lichtscheidl},
  journal={Plant and Soil},
AbstractCarnivorous plants may benefit from animal-derived nutrients to supplement minerals from the soil. Therefore, the role and importance of their roots is a matter of debate. Aquatic carnivorous species lack roots completely, and many hygrophytic and epiphytic carnivorous species only have a weakly devel-oped root system. In xerophytes, however, large, extended and/or deep-reaching roots and sub-soil shoots develop. Roots develop also in carnivorous plants in other habitats that are… 

Integration of trap- and root-derived nitrogen nutrition of carnivorous Dionaea muscipula.

Electrophysiological studies confirmed a high constitutive capacity for NH₄(+) uptake by roots and Glutamine feeding of traps inhibited the influx of (15)N from root-absorbed (13)N/(13)C-glutamine into these traps, but not that of (13C).

Root nutrient uptake enhances photosynthetic assimilation in prey-deprived carnivorous pitcher plant Nepenthes talangensis

It is concluded that increased root nutrient uptake enhanced photosynthetic efficiency in prey-deprived N. talangensis plants, indicating that the roots of Nepenthes plants are functional and can obtain a substantial amount of nitrogen from the soil.

Plant carnivory beyond bogs: reliance on prey feeding in Drosophyllum lusitanicum (Drosophyllaceae) in dry Mediterranean heathland habitats

The first evidence of strong reliance on insect prey feeding in a dry-soil carnivorous plant with well-developed roots is provided, suggesting that carnivory per se does not preclude persistence in dry habitats.

Capture of algae promotes growth and propagation in aquatic Utricularia.

The mass capture of immotile particles confirms the ecological importance of autonomous firing of the traps, andrelations with chemical parameters indicate that Utricularia benefits from nutrient-rich waters by uptake of inorganic nutrients from the water, by the production of more traps per unit of shoot length, and by the capture of more prey particles per trap, as nutrient- rich waters harbour more prey organisms.

Fungal root endophytes of the carnivorous plant Drosera rotundifolia

Although the functional roles of fungal endophytes of D. rotundifolia are unknown, colonisation may confer abiotic stress tolerance, facilitate the acquisition of scarce nutrients particularly at the beginning of the growing season or play a role in nutrient signalling between root and shoot.

Structural Features of Carnivorous Plant (Genlisea, Utricularia) Tubers as Abiotic Stress Resistance Organs

Examining the tuber structure of two taxonomically and phylogenetically divergent terrestrial carnivorous plants showed that specialized organs such as turions evolved once and tubers at least 12 times from stolons in Lentibulariaceae.

Nitrogen cycling dynamics in the carnivorous northern pitcher plant, Sarracenia purpurea

Detailed mechanistic analysis of nitrogen cycling dynamics of S. purpurea suggests why this carnivorous plant has an unusually low photosynthetic rate for its tissue N content.

Aestivation organ structure in Drosera subgen. Ergaleium (Droseraceae): corms or tubers; roots or shoots?

The nature of the subterranean aestivation organ in Drosera subgen. Ergaleium is reinvestigated and expanded across a wider range of taxa. The structure is confirmed to be anatomically and

Living between land and water – structural and functional adaptations in vegetative organs of bladderworts

The evolutionary transfer of carnivory from aerial to subterranean organs in Genlisea, and even more in Utricularia, coincides with a highly simplified anatomy, which is adapted to a broad variety of hydric conditions and compensates for structural innovations in the uptake of nutrients.

Root Physiology – from Gene to Function

Root nitrogen acquisition and assimilation, Root-based N2-fixing symbioses, and Root-to-shoot signalling: Assessing the roles of 'up' in the up and down world of long-distance signalling in planta.

Leaf absorption of mineral nutrients in carnivorous plants stimulates root nutrient uptake.

  • L. Adamec
  • Medicine, Biology
    The New phytologist
  • 2002
It was demonstrated that leaf-supplied nutrients were accumulated in the plant biomass and even stimulated root nutrient uptake, suggesting that the main physiological effect of leaf nutrient absorption from prey is a stimulation ofRoot nutrient uptake.

Rootless Aquatic Plant Aldrovanda Vesiculosa: Physiological Polarity, Mineral Nutrition, and Importance of Carnivory

  • L. Adamec
  • Environmental Science
    Biologia Plantarum
  • 2004
Under nearly-natural conditions in an outdoor cultivation container, catching of prey led to significantly more rapid growth than in unfed plants, and it may be suggested that carnivory is very important for Aldrovanda.

Seasonal heterophylly and leaf gland features in Triphyophyllum (Dioncophyllaceae), a new carnivorous plant genus

An important source of nutrients is tapped which could be significant in making possible an earlier transition from the juvenile to the rapidly-climbing adult form of Triphyophyllum peltatum, the tropical-West African liane.


The significance of the carnivorous habit of Pinguicula vulgaris L. vulgaris was studied when plants were fed with insects and/or supplied with complete nutrient solution in the substrate, and it was inferred that it uses both nitrogen and phosphorus from the insect.

Nitrogen availability alters the expression of carnivory in the northern pitcher plant, Sarracenia purpurea

  • A. EllisonN. Gotelli
  • Environmental Science
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
  • 2002
Increased nitrogen, but not phosphorus, reduced production of pitchers relative to phyllodia; this result provided empirical support for the cost–benefit model of the evolution of botanical carnivory.

Natural Abundance of δ15N Confirms Insectivorous Habit ofRoridula gorgonias, Despite it Having No Proteolytic Enzymes

High levels of δ15N in adult plants of R. gorgonias are best explained as being due to access to trophically enriched N from insects, providing further support for this plant species being insectivorous.

Development of Dionaea Muscipula. II. Germination of Seed and Development of Seedling to Maturity

  • C. Smith
  • Environmental Science
    Botanical Gazette
  • 1931
The evidence gained from a comparative study of the development of Dionaea and the plants closely related to it indicates that Dionaea should be placed in the family Droseraceae and in the order Sarraceniales.

Red list plants: colonization by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and dark septate endophytes

Since information concerning the mycorrhization of endangered plants is of major importance for their potential re-establishment, we determined the mycorrhizal status of Serratula tinctoria

The nitrogen supply from soils and insects during growth of the pitcher plants Nepenthes mirabilis, Cephalotus follicularis and Darlingtonia californica

The data suggest complex patterns of partitioning of insect and soil-derived N between source and sink regions in pitcher plants and possibly higher dependence on insect N than recorded elsewhere for Drosera species.

Phenology, morphology and reproductive biology of the tuberous sundew, Drosera erythrorhiza Lindl

Soil type, fire history and season modified this reproductive behaviour by affecting the intensity of daughter tuber production and the growth and survival of tubers.