Why some plants are predators?
This is the result of evolution. In raw swamps, where these species have developed over millions of years, little nitrogen, the vital element belonging to the proteins. Plants living in low nitrogen media are forced to look for this essential element without the help of roots and soil.
How do they do it? They use their overhead part. Over time, such plants have modified the shape of the leaves, turning them into traps for insects – small moving fermenters for nitrogen production. Capturing and killing the victim, the plants split it and absorb nutritional components. In fact, this is the main characteristic of predatory plants: they are able to digest the caught animal, synthesizing enzymes that split protein molecules and allow the leaves to absorb nutritional components.
It is known at least 600 species of carnivorous plants that use different versions of traps and for hunting animals devices.
Let’s see how these skillful hunters hunt – Dionaea muscipula and Nepenthes. Like all real hunters, they start with the fact that love the victim. Rosyanka allocates very odorious and sweet juice from leaf-traps, and insects cannot resist such temptation. With all due respect to Lynne, it should be said that the plant is no excess energy and the leaves do not close in contact with a hypothetical victim; If it were, they would capture and inedible objects Or allowed to be understood insects that grabbed the edge of the traps.
But Rosyanka closes the sheet only when the insect turns out to be in the very center of the sheet, Excluding the possibility of failure. On the surface of each half of the leaf forming a deadly drone, there are three small veins – they are forced the trap slam. That this happens, Insect should touch at least two villi – with a time interval not more than 20 seconds. Only then the plant understands that something interesting was caught, and slaps a sheet. A thrilling insect continues to touch the Village, which causes Rosyanka only hard to compress the halves of the sheet. When the animal dies (and, therefore, stops moving), the sheet begins to allocate digestive enzymes, with the help of which almost completely digesting the victim.
Another terrible predator, Neventes, uses other tactics. In the process of evolution, these plants have created specific organs in the form of bags, the edges of which are covered with a sweet substance with a smearing smell. When the animal attracted by the smell is selected to the bag to taste the nectar, it snorches inside and can’t get back. The inner surface of the bag is incredibly smooth (so smooth that scientists are engaged in studying this surface in order to reproduce its properties for technological needs). But inside the bag is unfortunate An animal enters the splitting liquid in which both sinks after numerous and exhausting attempts to escape. Then the plant begins to digest the sacrifice, turning it into a nutrient broth, which gradually sucks. Neventes eaten not only insects, but also lizards and small reptiles, as well as relatively large mice.
On the example of prey plants, you can speak not only about their "taste addies", but about the diet of nutrition in general. First of all, in contrast to the fact that we are accustomed to thinking, such plants are not at all. Today, at least 600 species of carnivorous plants are known, and they all use different variants of traps and devices for hunting different animals. Thus, carnivorous plants are spread very widely and formed several hundred species.
Their number is even more taking into account those species that benefit from insect hunt indirectly. Just a few years ago it was believed that only some types of plants ("True carnivorous") are able to digest small animals, removing the necessary nutrients from them. However, modern studies show that the use of food plants of animal origin is a fairly common phenomenon.
In 2012. A plant was described, which hunts to worms using special … underground traps!
If you look at the leaves of potatoes, tobacco or some exotic plants, such as Pavlovnia (Paulonia Tomentosa, this tree of China has now spread widely in Europe and the USA), you can notice the bodies of small insects on them. Why leave these plants to secrete sticky or poisonous substances to kill insects if they can’t digest them?
The answer is simple and logical: even if the bodies of insects are not cleaving with leaves, they fall on the ground and decompose, highlighting the necessary nitrogen plant. And the bodies remaining on the leaves become food for bacteria, and again the plant wins, consuming nitrogen allocated by bacteria. Thus, Some plants that are not "true carnivorous", also use animals to enrich their food diet.
Scientists call such types of "pseudocyssic". But that is not all. In 2012. A plant was described, which hunts to worms using special … underground traps! Violets growing on a very dry and depleted soil of Brazilian Sumrado, have underground leaves that can capture and digest nematode – widespread small worms. These leaves are sticky, and creeping past worms stick to them, and then digested by the plant, providing its useful food additives containing nitrogen. This example first demonstrated the technique of underground hunting, to which other plants inhabited on the depleted soil are resorted to.
To date, there are about 600 species of carnivorous plants. But if you add to this number of "pseudochirs" and underground hunters, you can talk about a much greater number of species. And this fact allows us to radically change the idea of the methods of food of plants.