18 Jun '12, 9am

Is Pollution Turning Carnivorous Plants into Vegetarians?

Is Pollution Turning Carnivorous Plants into Vegetarians?

Gizmodo points us to an interesting post at Chem.info about a study that indicates that the increased levels of nitrogen in the air due to the burning of fossil fuels is dramatically altering the behavior of some carnivorous plants. Studying sundews growing in Swedish bogs, researchers at Loughborough University found the plants growing in heavily polluted areas were only getting 22 percent of their nitrogen from trapping and consuming insects like they evolved to. Instead, these carnivorous plants were being supplied with nitrogen that was deposited in the bogs from polluted rain. While 57 percent of sundews in areas with light pollution were still trapping insects for their nitrogen needs. Is this evolution or an example of the affects of man-made pollution? By analyzing the presence of various isotopes of nitrogen in the plant samples researchers were able to pinpoint w...

Full article: http://www.treehugger.com/lawn-garden/pollution-turning-c...

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