December 1, 2023

The Queens County Citizen

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Discovery of new carnivorous plants in North America

Discovery of new carnivorous plants in North America

The Western Trinity It traps insects on its sticky-haired stalk and petals and then absorbs nutrients from their carcasses, botanists explained in a study published in the scientific journal PNAS.

Rare search refers to a Pleasant surprise One of the authors of the study, Dr. Sean Graham, a professor in the Department of Botany at UBC, expects the most public interest. Carnivorous flowers have a terrifying appearance that people love, He believes.

People are attracted to carnivorous plants because they do things they should not do: they eat meat.

A quote from:Dr. Sean Graham, Professor of Botany at UBC

The Western toffeedy specimens studied in the study were found on Mount Cyprus, north of Vancouver.

Photo: Courtesy of Lima on UBC / Dani

From suspicion to discovery

When they set out to study Western fields, botanists already suspected that it could prove to be a carnivore.

Three things caught their ears: she lost some genes not found in other carnivorous plants, she lives in the same kind of humid and foggy habitat, and she has sticky hair.

This fact is not unique to carnivorous plants, says the study author.

Many flowers use sticky hair for self-defense, to prevent them from being eaten by insects. In this case, it’s another way.

A quote from:Dr. Sean Graham, Professor of Botany at UBC

Debris samples were studied at Mount Cyprus in north Vancouver. However, we also found Tofield from western California to Alaska.

Pollination and carnivore

The most attractive aspect of Western Tofield behavior is that it traps insects that pollinate its own flowers, the researchers say. At first glance, this is paradoxical because you should not kill the bugs that help you reproduce., Argues Dr. Kiyanshi Lin, lead author.

However, a balance between the need to pollinate and the need to nourish insect nutrients is possible, explains Dr. Tom Givnish, a professor of botany at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Its glandular hairs can only trap midges and other small insects, so strong bees and butterflies that act as its pollinators are not trapped., He stated.

Other innovations to follow

Thanks to their invention, there are now 19 species of carnivorous plants in Canada.

These plants are rare and we do not find them every day, Recalled Professor Graham. This is great, it makes people interested in the flowers and plants that are so important to us.

Other carnivorous plants have been found due to the presence of the western tofield near large urban centers, even in well-studied ecosystems, UBC points out.

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