Document Type



Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor's Name

Jennifer H. Richards

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Jack B. Fisher

Third Advisor's Name

David W. Lee

Date of Defense



Members of the aquatic plant genus Utricularia exhibit many unique characteristics: nutritional supplementation carried out by the most complex trapping mechanism of any carnivorous plant, extremely modified vegetative morphology, relaxed developmental constraints, high generic diversity, and fast genomic substitution rates. The vegetative morphology, anatomy and growth pattern of three species common to Florida's Everglades, U. gibba, U. cornuta, and U. subulata were analyzed in depth. Specimens were collected from different habitats in South Florida during both the wet and dry seasons. Light and scanning electron microscopy were used to quantify anatomical and morphological characteristics. A morphological model describing growth and the possible variations to the basic pattern was created for each of the three species, providing a framework for future ecological , physiological, and molecular studies. Additional field and herbarium observations were made of the remaining eight taxa found in southern Florida and a species key was created for all eleven taxa.




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