Jones, James M.C. , Fredeen, Art , Massicotte, Hugues .
Growth responses of the Cape sundew (Drosera capensis L.) to low, medium and high levels of calcium chloride, magnesium chloride and potassium bicarbonate.
Plant carnivory has arisen in several genera, and is thought to be a response to nutrient limitation in environments which are ombrotrophic and experience high levels of light and water. In replicating the low-nutrient conditions that many carnivorous plants are naturally subject to, cultivators have noted a sensitivity of these plants to water containing inorganic salts. However, examination of the nature of this sensitivity in the scientific literature is lacking, specifically in regards to individual inorganic compounds and the concentrations involved. Using the cape sundew, Drosera capensis L., as a model organism, we examined plant growth responses to single (uncombined) watering solutions of increasing concentrations of CaCl2, MgCl2 or K2CO3 applied over a period of eighteen weeks. Reductions in both the number of trapping leaves and in the longest leaf length were observed as concentrations of all tested inorganic compounds were increased. Addition of low concentrations of calcium chloride (20 mg kg-1) promoted plant growth, but increasing concentrations resulted in poor growth. Both K2CO3 and MgCl2 caused significant decreases in the number of trapping leaves as concentrations increased, but no change in leaf length. Additionally, high (320 mg kg-1) concentrations of K2CO3 caused plants to completely cease dew production. When coupled with mortality rates, this suggests that while a general sensitivity to high inorganic salt concentrations exists, the ability of D. capensis to respond to this stress is dependent on the particular salt involved.
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1 - University of Northern British Columbia, Ecosystem Science and Management Program, 3333 University Way, Prince George, B.C., V2N 4Z9, Canada
Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Topics
Location: Battelle South/Convention Center
Date: Monday, July 9th, 2012
Time: 5:30 PM