Studies on nitrogen and phosphorus uptake by the carnivorous bladderwort utricularia foliosa L. in South Florida wetlands

Document Type



Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor's Name

Brian Fry

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Jennifer H. Richards

Third Advisor's Name

James W. Fourqurean

Date of Defense



Utricularia foliosa is an aquatic carnivorous plant found throughout south Florida in freshwater systems. Although there was no question that this plant is capable of carnivory, the amount of nitrogen and phosphorus obtained from carnivory under natural conditions was unknown. A nutrient budget was established to address this question. Carnivory contributed an average of 0.44% of the nitrogen and 1.75% of the phosphorus required to meet the growth needs of the plants. Under reduced light conditions, U. foliosa can be induced to grow without traps. Ability to grow under shaded conditions without traps further indicates that carnivory is not a required source of nitrogen and phosphorus. Finally, it was expected that if plants obtained a significant amount of nitrogen from carnivory δ15N values would be higher for plants with traps than for plants without traps. The opposite was found to be true. All three lines of evidence indicate that carnivory does not supply a significant amount of nutrient for growth in U. foliosa .



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