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Harvard Forest Data Archive

HF111

Prey Capture by Carnivorous Plants Worldwide 1923-2007

Related Publications

Data

Overview

  • Lead: Aaron Ellison, Nicholas Gotelli
  • Investigators:
  • Contact: Aaron Ellison
  • Start date: 1923
  • End date: 2007
  • Status: completed
  • Location: Global
  • Latitude: -90 to 90
  • Longitude: -180 to 180
  • Elevation:
  • Taxa: Diptera, Hymenoptera, Formicidae, Dionaea sp., Drosera sp., Nepenthes sp., Pinguicula sp., Sarracenia sp., Triphyophyllum sp., Utricularia sp.
  • Release date: 2008
  • Revisions:
  • EML file: knb-lter-hfr.111.16
  • DOI: digital object identifier
  • Related links:
  • Study type: short-term measurement
  • Research topic: physiological ecology, population dynamics and species interactions
  • LTER core area: populations
  • Keywords: carnivorous plants, competition, evolution, predation
  • Abstract:

    Available phylogenetic data illustrate that in all carnivorous lineages, the ancestral trap type is a sticky, flypaper-type trap (Ellison and Gotelli, 2001). In the Caryophyllales, pitfall traps (Nepenthes) and snap traps (Dionaea and Aldrovanda) are derived relative to the sticky pads of Drosera. Similarly, in the Lamiales, the sticky-leaved Pinguicula is ancestral to Genlisea with its eel (or lobster-pot) traps and Utricularia with its vacuum traps. In the Ericales, the Sarraceniaceae with its pitfall traps are derived relative to Roridula, another species with flypaper traps. Muller et al. (2004) hypothesed that carnivorous genera with rapidly evolving genomes (Genlisea and Utricularia) have more predictable and frequent captures of prey than do genera with more slowly evolving genomes; by extension it could be hypothesized that in general, carnivorous plants with more complex traps should have more predictable and frequent captures of prey than do those with relatively simple traps. Increases in predictability and frequency of prey capture could be achieved by evolving more elaborate mechanisms for attracting prey, by specializing on particular types of prey, or, as Darwin suggested, by specializing on particular (large) sizes of prey. In all cases, one would expect that prey actually captured would not be a random sample of the available prey. Furthermore, when multiple species of carnivorous plants co-occur, one would predict, again following Darwin that interspecific competition would lead to specialization on particular kinds of prey.

    Because the traps of carnivorous plants accumulate identifiable remains of prey, analysis of trap contents can provide an aggregate record of the prey that have been successfully "sampled" by the plant. Such samples could be used to begin to test the hypothesis that carnivorous plant genera differ in prey composition and to look for evidence of specialization in prey capture. Over the past 80 years, numerous ecologists have gathered data on prey contents of carnivorous plants of a number of species and genera from around the world, but these data have never been summarized or synthesized; this summary and synthesis is accomplished in Ellison et al. (2008). The accompanying data are in this file.

  • Methods:

    Overview

    Prey capture data were gathered from 33 studies that were published (in litt. or in otherwise unpublished M.Sc. and Ph.D. theses) between 1923 and 2007. These studies encompass 86 records of prey capture for 45 species of carnivorous plants in 7 genera: Pinguicula (7 species), Sarracenia (7 species), Drosera (13 species), Nepenthes (11 species) Triphyophyllum (1 species), Dionaea (1 species), and Utricularia (5 species). The geographic scope of these data is broad, encompassing all continents except Antarctica. We treated each record (prey composition of a single taxon at a single locality) as an independent observation, and we did not distinguish within- and between- species variability within each genus. We excluded one species measured by Judd (1959) because it contained only 6 individual prey items, but most studies contained from dozens to thousands of individual prey items. Using designations in the original publications, we classified prey into 43 taxonomic groups. For insects, these taxonomic groups were usually orders, although virtually all authors distinguished ants from other Hymenoptera and we retained this distinction in our analysis. There were a few coarser classifications ("Other insects", "Mollusca"), but most of these were very rare.

    References

    Adler PH, Malmqvist B. 2004. Predation on black flies (Diptera : Simuliidae) by the carnivorous plant Pinguicula vulgaris (Lentibulariaceae) in northern Sweden. Entomologica Fennica 15, 124-128.

    Alcala RE, Domínguez CA. 2003. Patterns of prey capture and prey availability among populations of the carnivorous plant Pinguicula moranensis (Lentibulariaceae) in an environmental gradient. American Journal of Botany 90, 1341-1348.

    Antor RJ, Garcia MB. 1994. Prey capture by a carnivorous plant with hanging adhesive traps: Pinguicula longifolia. American Midland Naturalist 131, 128-135.

    Cresswell JE. 1993. The morphological correlates of prey capture and resource parasitism in pitchers of the carnivorous plant Sarracenia purpurea. American Midland Naturalist 129, 35-41.

    Dixon KW, Pate JS, Bailey WJ. 1980. Nitrogen nutrion of the tuberous sundew Drosera erythrorhiza Lindl. with special reference to catch of arthropod fauna by its glandular leaves. Australian Journal of Botany 28, 283-297.

    Erber D. 1979. Untersuchungen zur Biozonose und Nekrozonose in Kannenpflanzen auf Sumatra. Archiv fur Hydrobiologie 87, 37-48.

    Folkerts DR. 1992. Interactions of pitcher plants (Sarracenia: Sarraceniaceae) with their arthropod prey in the southeastern United States. PhD thesis, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia.

    Givnish TJ, Burkhardt EL, Happel RE, Weintraub JD. 1984. Carnivory in the bromeliad Brocchinia reducta, with a cost/ benefit model for the general restriction of carnivorous plants to sunny, moist nutrient-poor habitats. American Naturalist 124, 479-497.

    Gordon E, Pacheco S. 2007. Prey composition in the carnivorous plants Utricularia inflata and U. gibba (Lentibulariaceae) from Paria Peninsula, Venezuela. Revista de Biologia Tropical 55, 795-803.

    Green ML, Horner JD. 2007. The relationships between prey capture and characteristics of the carnivorous pitcher plant, Sarracenia alata Wood. American Midland Naturalist 158, 424-431.

    Green S, Green TL, Heslop-Harrison Y. 1979. Seasonal heterophylly and leaf gland features in Triphyophyllum (Dioncophyllaceae), a new carnivorous plant genus. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 78, 99-116.

    Harms S. 1999. Prey selection in three species of the carnivorous aquatic plant Utricularia (bladderwort). Archiv fur hydrobiologie 146, 449-470.

    Heard SB. 1998. Capture rates of invertebrate prey by the pitcher plant, Sarracenia purpurea L. American Midland Naturalist 139, 79-89.

    Jones FM. 1923. The most wonderful plant in the world. Natural History 23, 589-596.

    Judd WW. 1959. Studies of the Byron Bog in southwestern Ontario. X. Inquilines and victims of the pitcher plant, Saracenia purpurea L. Canadian Entomologist 91, 171-180.

    Judd WW. 1969. Studies of the Byron Bog in southwestern Ontario. XXXIX. Insect trapped in the leaves of sundew, Drosera intermedia Hayne and Drosera rotundifolia L. Canadian Field Naturalist 83, 233-237.

    Karlsson PS, Nordell KO, Eirefelt S, Svensson A. 1987. Trapping efficiency of three carnivorous Pinguicula species. Oecologia 73, 518-521. Kato M, Hotta M, Tamin R, Itino T. 1993. Inter- and intra-specific variation in prey assemblages and inhabitant communities in Nepenthes pitchers in Sumatra. Tropical Zoology 6, 11-25.

    Moran JA. 1996. Pitcher dimorphism, prey composition and the mechanisms of prey attraction in the pitcher plant Nepenthes rafflesiana in Borneo. Journal of Ecology 84, 515-525.

    Moran JA, Booth WE, Charles JK. 1999. Aspects of pitcher morphology and spectral characteristics of six Bornean Nepenthes pitcher plant species: implications for prey capture. Annals of Botany 83, 521-528.

    Newell SJ, Nastase AJ. 1998. Efficiency of insect capture by Sarracenia purpurea (Sarraceniaceae), the northern pitcher plant. American Journal of Botany 85, 88-91.

    Porch SS. 1989. Prey capture in three species of sundew (Droseraceae: Drosera) on the Gulf coastal plain. M.Sc. thesis, Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama.

    Thum M. 1986. Segregation of habitat and prey in two sympatric carnivorous plant species, Drosera rotundifolia and Drosera intermedia. Oecologia 70, 601-605.

    van Acterberg C. 1973. A study about the arthropoda caught by Drosera species. Entomologischen Berichten 33, 137-140.

    Verbeek NAM, Boasson R. 1993. Relationship between types of prey captured and growth form in Drosera in southwestern Australia. Australian Journal of Ecology 18, 203-207.

    Watson AP, Matthiessen JN, Springett BP. 1982. Arthropod associates and macronutrient status of the red-ink sundew (Drosera erythrorhiza Lindl.). Australian Journal of Ecology 7, 13-22.

    Williams SE. 1980. How Venus's Flytraps catch spiders and ants. Carnivorous Plant Newsletter 9, 65-78

    Wray DL, Brimley CS. 1943. The insect inquilines and victims of pitcher plants in North Carolina. Annals of the Entomoogical Society of America 36, 128-137.

    Zamora R. 1990. The feeding ecology of a carnivorous plant (Pinguicula nevadense): prey analysis and capture constraints. Oecologia 84, 376-379.

    Zamora R. 1995. The trapping success of a carnivorous plant, Pinguicula vallisneriifolia: the cumulative effects of availability, attraction, retention, and robbery of prey. Oikos 73, 309-322.

  • Use:

    This dataset is released to the public under Creative Commons license CC BY (Attribution). Please keep the designated contact person informed of any plans to use the dataset. Consultation or collaboration with the original investigators is strongly encouraged. Publications and data products that make use of the dataset must include proper acknowledgement.

  • Citation:

    Ellison A, Gotelli N. 2008. Prey Capture by Carnivorous Plants Worldwide 1923-2007. Harvard Forest Data Archive: HF111.

Detailed Metadata

hf111-01: prey capture

  1. study: author/date. See Methods section for full references.
  2. sites: if study included more than one site, the site is listed here. When samples were pooled over sites, it is indicated here.
  3. species: genus and species of carnivorous plant studied
  4. units: units of measurement of prey (number of individuals, percentage, number per unit area).
  5. diptera.sum: quantity of prey taxon. All Diptera recorded (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  6. acarina: quantity of prey taxon (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  7. collembola: quantity of prey taxon (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  8. hymenoptera.not.formicidae: quantity of prey taxon, all bees and wasps, not ants (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  9. thysanoptera: quantity of prey taxon (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  10. homoptera.sum: quantity of prey taxon, all Homoptera recorded (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  11. coleoptera: quantity of prey taxon (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  12. araneae: quantity of prey taxon (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  13. lepidoptera: quantity of prey taxon (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  14. hemiptera: quantity of prey taxon (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  15. plecoptera: quantity of prey taxon (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  16. formicidae: quantity of prey taxon (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  17. orthoptera: quantity of prey taxon (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  18. gastropoda.snails: quantity of prey taxon (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  19. gastropoda.slugs: quantity of prey taxon (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  20. protura: quantity of prey taxon (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  21. chilopoda: quantity of prey taxon (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  22. trichoptera: quantity of prey taxon (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  23. isopoda: quantity of prey taxon (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  24. neuroptera: quantity of prey taxon (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  25. diplopoda: quantity of prey taxon (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  26. oligochaeta: quantity of prey taxon (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  27. nematoda: quantity of prey taxon (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  28. other: quantity of other prey taxon (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  29. odonata: quantity of prey taxon (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  30. psocoptera: quantity of prey taxon (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  31. isoptera: quantity of prey taxon (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  32. cyanobacteria: quantity of prey taxon (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  33. chlorophyta: quantity of prey taxon (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  34. bacillariophyta: quantity of prey taxon (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  35. euglenophyta: quantity of prey taxon (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  36. rotifera: quantity of prey taxon (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  37. copeopoda: quantity of prey taxon (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  38. rhizopoda: quantity of prey taxon (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  39. cladocera: quantity of prey taxon (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  40. insecta: quantity of prey taxon (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  41. scorpions: quantity of prey taxon (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  42. cyclopoida: quantity of prey taxon (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  43. harpaticoida: quantity of prey taxon (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  44. bosominidae: quantity of prey taxon (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  45. polyphemidae: quantity of prey taxon (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  46. sididae: quantity of prey taxon (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  47. daphnidae: quantity of prey taxon (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  48. macrothricidae: quantity of prey taxon (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  49. chydoridae: quantity of prey taxon (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  50. ostracoda: quantity of prey taxon (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  51. annelida: quantity of prey taxon (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  52. microptera: quantity of prey taxon (unit: number / missing value: NA)
  53. mollusca: quantity of prey taxon (unit: number / missing value: NA)