Darnowski, Douglas .
Prey Preference in Aquatic Bladderworts (Utricularia spp.; Lentibulariaceae) Across the Eastern North America.
Carnivorous bladderworts form integral parts of aquatic ecosystems and are particularly sensitive to environmental conditions such as eutrophication. My lab continues to conduct a study on prey preference over a wide geographic area, probably the widest area ever studied for these plants. The study area to date includes the Eastern US from Maryland to Florida and west to Indiana. We hope to make this a long-term ecological study and to extend it to eastern Canada and to some Western states in the US as we work to find out whether aquatic bladderworts (Utricularia spp.; Lentibulariaceae) of three basic morphologies show differences in prey preference. That is, do bladderworts with the same basic architecture select the same kind of prey (size, behavior, etc.) from the different prey available at a particular site. These three morphologies include architectures which can be described as thin and string-like (e.g. U. gibba), ropy (e.g. U. macrorhiza, U. foliosa), and dimorphic with subterranean trapping shoots (e.g. U. intermedia). This project is an extension of our past lab work simulating natural habitats and prey populations. That part of our project showed a clear connection between the prey preference of particular aquatic carnivorous plants and the behavior of the favored prey. Most of those organisms which were trapped spent significant time resting in and on the non-carnivorous parts of the plant, as opposed to merely swimming throughout the trapping regions. Our work in the lab made it clear that prey preference depended on the architecture of the particular aquatic carnivorous plant studied. Our data so far indicate a clear distinction in prey preference among the three architectures which we are studying.
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1 - INDIANA UNIVERSITY SOUTHEAST, Department Of Biology, 4201 GRANT LINE ROAD, NEW ALBANY, IN, 47150-6405, USA
Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Location: Forsyth Room/Chase Park Plaza
Date: Tuesday, July 12th, 2011
Time: 10:15 AM