Carnivorous Plants Turn Vegetarian
Carnivorous plants are among the more unique plant species in nature. Through evolution plants like the Venus Flytrap have developed mechanisms to capture small animals (usually insects) from which they take nutrients. But pollution is making some of these plant species change their diet.
Most carnivorous plants trap animals because the soil does not contain enough nutrients like nitrogen. These plants get 57% of their nitrogen intake from animals. Because of pollution caused by industry and transport plants in polluted areas are able to get more nitrogen from rainfall and this reduced their nitrogen intake from animals to 22%.
The change in diet actually changed the appearance of the plants themselves. Their leaves lose some of their stickiness and the plants in polluted areas also started changing their colour. Will extended pollution cause these plants to turn to a fully vegetarian diet? More about the subject can be found in this article by Tom Marshall.
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