I'm a grad student at Tulane working with pitcher plants.
The general consensus is that carnivorous plants get mainly N and P from
prey, possibly some cations like Ca Mg, and maybe micronutrients like Mo.
Many do produce digestive enzymes but certainly bacterial decomposition of
captured prey is also important. They still need to fix CO2 through
photosynthesis though. There are a few reports of plants that can live on
insect prey alone with no soil nutrient input, but they're all autotrophs.
Heterotrophic C acquisition is controversial and the mainstream consensus is
that it doesn't occur - but who knows?
Hope this helps.
----- Original Message -----
From: Henry Schumacher <homeygrock at hotmail.com>
To: <gant at communique.net>
Sent: Sunday, March 26, 2000 7:37 PM
Subject: Fwd: Insectivorous plants
> i hope this is your adress gant,
> i thought maybe you might be able to help this guy out. if you can help
> out, reply to the "plant-ed at hgmp.mrc.ac.uk" adress.
>> Hank Schumacher
> From: David Haas <dhaas007 at yahoo.com>
> To: plant-ed at hgmp.mrc.ac.uk> Subject: Insectivorous plants
> Date: Fri, 24 Mar 2000 18:06:36 GMT
>> Question: Do insectivorous plants get anything other than nitrogen from
> the animal material they capture? In other words could one of these
> plants live exclusively on what it catches and not need chloroplasts.
> Anybody have any info or thoughts about this? I assume that plants
> would not have the enzymes necessary for converting the animal proteins
> and carbohydrates into useable carbohydrates for plants - that the
> nitrates and other minerals (are there other minerals?) that are used
> result from bacterial decomposition. Just wondering.
>> D. Haas
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