Journal Article

Longevity, Lignin Content and Construction Cost of the Assimilatory Organs of <i>Nepenthes</i> Species

Olusegun O. Osunkoya, Siti Dayanawati Daud and Franz L. Wimmer

in Annals of Botany

Published on behalf of The Annals of Botany Company

Volume 102, issue 5, pages 845-853
Published in print November 2008 | ISSN: 0305-7364
Published online August 2008 | e-ISSN: 1095-8290 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aob/mcn162
Longevity, Lignin Content and Construction Cost of the Assimilatory Organs of Nepenthes Species

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Ecology and Conservation
  • Evolutionary Biology
  • Plant Sciences and Forestry

GO

Show Summary Details

Preview

Background and Aims

This study examined level of causal relationships amongst functional traits in leaves and conjoint pitcher cups of the carnivorous Nepenthes species.

Methods

Physico-chemical properties, especially lignin content, construction costs, and longevity of the assimilatory organs (leaf and pitcher) of a guild of lowland Nepenthes species inhabiting heath and/or peat swamp forests of Brunei, northern Borneo were determined.

Key Results

Longevity of these assimilatory organs was linked significantly to construction cost, lignin content and structural trait of tissue density, but these effects are non-additive. Nitrogen and phosphorus contents (indicators of Rubisco and other photosynthetic proteins), were poor predictors of organ longevity and construction cost, suggesting that a substantial allocation of biomass of the assimilatory organs in Nepenethes is to structural material optimized for prey capture, rigidity and escape from biotic and abiotic stresses rather than to light interception. Leaf payback time – a measure of net carbon revenue – was estimated to be 48–60 d. This is in line with the onset of substantial mortality by 2–3 months of tagged leaves in many of the Nepenthes species examined. However, this is a high ratio (i.e. a longer minimum payback time) compared with what is known for terrestrial, non-carnivorous plants in general (5–30 d).

Conclusions

It is concluded that the leaf trait bivariate relationships within the Nepenthes genus, as in other carnivorous species (e.g. Sarraceniaceae), is substantially different from the global relationship documented in the Global Plant Trait Network.

Keywords: Botanical carnivory; carbon gain; functional traits; leaf chemistry; leaf lifespan; leaf mass per unit area; Nepenthes; pitcher; payback time

Journal Article.  5670 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Ecology and Conservation ; Evolutionary Biology ; Plant Sciences and Forestry

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.