Form follows function: morphological diversification and alternative trapping strategies in carnivorous Nepenthes pitcher plants

Bauer, U., Clemente, C. J., Renner, T. and Federle, W. (2012) Form follows function: morphological diversification and alternative trapping strategies in carnivorous Nepenthes pitcher plants. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 25 1: 90-102. doi:10.1111/j.1420-9101.2011.02406.x


Author Bauer, U.
Clemente, C. J.
Renner, T.
Federle, W.
Title Form follows function: morphological diversification and alternative trapping strategies in carnivorous Nepenthes pitcher plants
Journal name Journal of Evolutionary Biology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1010-061X
1420-9101
Publication date 2012-01
Year available 2011
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.1420-9101.2011.02406.x
Volume 25
Issue 1
Start page 90
End page 102
Total pages 13
Place of publication West Sussex, United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Collection year 2013
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Carnivorous plants of the genus Nepenthes have evolved a striking diversity of pitcher traps that rely on specialized slippery surfaces for prey capture. With a comparative study of trap morphology, we show that Nepenthes pitcher plants have evolved specific adaptations for the use of either one of two distinct trapping mechanisms: slippery wax crystals on the inner pitcher wall and 'insect aquaplaning' on the wet upper rim (peristome). Species without wax crystals had wider peristomes with a longer inward slope. Ancestral state reconstructions identified wax crystal layers and narrow, symmetrical peristomes as ancestral, indicating that wax crystals have been reduced or lost multiple times independently. Our results complement recent reports of nutrient source specializations in Nepenthes and suggest that these specializations may have driven speciation and rapid diversification in this genus.
Keyword Carnivorous plants
Comparative analysis
Evolution
Functional morphology
Nepenthes
Peristome aquaplaning
Trapping mechanisms
Wax crystals
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Non HERDC
School of Biological Sciences Publications
 
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Created: Sun, 14 Apr 2013, 23:31:38 EST by Gail Walter on behalf of School of Biological Sciences