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Research focused on three large Brazilian bladderwort species (Utricularia cornigera, U. nelumbifolia, U. reniformis) is presented here in three articles made in the Liberec Botanic Garden. These species were grown and studied in the Botanical Garden and were investigated also in natural habitats. Taxonomical and ecological data on U. cornigera are new to science. Hypothesis of a hybrid origin of U. cornigera is rejected.

 

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SECOND BRIEF PIECE OF INFORMATION ABOUT THE SPECIES STATUS OF UTRICULARIA CORNIGERA STUDNIČKA
Miloslav Studnička, Liberec Botanic Gardens, Purkyňova 630/1, CZ-460 01 Liberec, Czech Republic

Abstract:

Hybrids of Utricularia nelumbifolia × U. reniformis (and vice versa) were raised, and the bladders of adult individuals taken out of the soil were observed. With their long antennae they resemble their parents, yet they differ noticeably from the identically situated bladders of U. cornigera that has characteristic short antennae. Therefore, the morphology of the bladders does not support the hypothesis of a hybrid origin of U. cornigera.

Introduction: The seedlings from the artificial cross-breeding of Utricularia reniformis × U. nelumbifolia (and vice versa) documented in CPN 2 years ago (Studnička 2013) have become adult plants, and thus it was possible to document the traps of the hybrids. In this study, a comparison is made with both the parental species and with U. cornigera, for it is a species related to both cross-bred species. The species U. cornigera and U. reniformis are similar to each other with their kidney-shaped leaves. The species U. cornigera and U. nelumbifolia have symbiotic relationships to host rosette-forming plants (Studnička 2011). All the three species are endemic to south-eastern Brazil.

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BRIEF INFORMATION ABOUT THE SPECIES STATUS OF UTRICULARIA CORNIGERA STUDNIČKA
Miloslav Studnička, Liberec Botanic Gardens, Purkyňova 630/1, CZ-460 01 Liberec, Czech Republic

Abstract: The carnivorous plant Utricularia cornigera Studnička was described in 2009, but authorities of the International Carnivorous Plant Society published an opinion that it is not a true species, but only a natural hybrid of U. reniformis and U. nelumbifolia. The role of heterosis is discussed, because U. cornigera is much larger than both theoretical parents. Seedlings, the very characteristic feature of bladderworts (Utricularia), are different in all the bladderworts described, that is, in the named species and in artificial hybrids of U. nelumbifolia and U. reniformis. No support for the hypothesis supposing a hybrid origin of U. cornigera was found.

Introduction: Recently a hypothesis appeared that Utricularia cornigera Studnička could be a hybrid of U. nelumbifolia Gardn. × U. reniformis St.Hil. (Schlauer 2011; Fleischmann 2012). Consequentially, the new species was rejected from the Carnivorous Plant Database (Schlauer 2011). Nevertheless it was accepted in the International Plant Name Index (IPNI 2005). This article presents the results of new experiments with artificial crossings of both theoretical parents proposed by the authors.

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DIFFERENT WING IN PITCHERS OF THE MYRMECOPHAGOUS SPECIES SARRACENIA MINOR AND S. RUBRA
Miloslav Studnička, Liberec Botanic Gardens, Purkyňova 630/1, CZ-460 01 Liberec, Czech Republic

Abstract: The pitcher wings of Sarracenia minor and S. rubra are compared. The vascular bundles are found to be different (2 vs 1), and the lateral indumenta are dissimilar. The dimensions of the wings, the shapes of the nectar roll, and its connection to the wing edge are also different. An interesting application of the system observed in the wing of S. minor was documented in station semaphores. Sarracenia minor is often described as a “primitive” species in the genus; evidence suggests this characterization is inaccurate.

Introduction: The hooded pitcher plant (Sarracenia minor Walt.) is well-known as a myrmecophagous species (Schnell 1976, 2002), but the sweet pitcher plant (S. rubra Walt.) is also a species preferring ants as prey (Moon et al. 2010). Myrmecophagy was also observed in 1920, but unpublished, by the entomologist F. M. Jones (Jones n.d.). Other species of Sarracenia can also trap ants, but only occasionally, under favourable conditions. Sarracenia minor is sympatric with S. rubra subsp. rubra (sensu Schnell 2002) and I am dealing with the question of whether the plants have similar adaptations to myrmecophagy.

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OBSERVATIONS ON LIFE STRATEGIES OF GENLISEA, HELIAMPHORA, AND UTRICULARIA IN NATURAL HABITATS
MILOSLAV STUDNICKA, Botanic Gardens Liberec, 46001 Liberec, Czech Republic

In December 2001 I travelled through Venezuela. I expected to visit Mt. Roraima during my travels, and since I was particularly interested in the carnivorous flora in this area, I arrived with as much laboratory equipment as I could bring (Figure 1). I especially hoped that my microscope would let me study the prey cap tured by Genlisea. In this paper, I report on a few novel observations and in terpretations that resulted from this trip.

Prey of Genlisea roraimensis In a recent paper, Barthlott et al. (1998) presented laboratory observations which suggested that Genlisea are specialists in capturing and digesting protozoa. My own observations with cultivated Genlisea show they capture many nonprotozoan prey (Studnicka, 1996). This is in agreement with Lloyd, who noted that Brazilian Genlisea captured "copepods, and the like, small water spiders, nematodes, and plenty of other forms" (Lloyd, 1942).A weakness of both my research and the work reported by Barthlott et al. (1998) was that our research programs both were based on cultivated plants. As such, I was curious to observe what Genlisea plants captured in their native habitats in South America.

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FURTHER PROBLEM IN GENLISEA TRAP UNTANGLED?
MILOSLAV STUDNICKA, Botanic Gardens Liberec, 46001 Liberec, Czech Republic

It is well known that plants in the genus Genli sea produce subterranean, Y-shaped, carnivorous trapping organs. The two branches of each trap function as unidirectional channels, directing prey towards the trap neck. At that point, prey travel along the trap neck (a long tunnel) to the vesicle, which is the enlarged digestion chamber.

While these aspects of Genlisea are well know, many as pects of how the traps work are still mysteries. Current research is focused on using physiological experiments to test several hypotheses. For example, it is being investigated which (if any) chemical substance attracts prey into the traps (Studnicka, 2002). There are even different opinions as to what kind of prey Genlisea tends to capture most fre quently. Recent study suggests that Genlisea maybe specialized to capture protozoa (Barthlott et al., 1998), while Lloyd (1942, p. 94) wrote: "The captures consist of copepods, and the like, small water spiders, nematodes and plenty of other forms, many of which I have seen in the Brazilian material studied. "I have observed in G. pygmaea many prey organisms, i.e. nematodes, remains of arthropods, etc. (Studnicka, 1996). Furthermore, while preparing the photographs of G. uiolacea glands for this article, I observed numerous nematodes as well as mobile, unicellular organisms in the traps. Some Genlisea species produce traps of two distinctly different sizes; this seems to imply some kind of prey specialization that differs between the trap types (Studnicka, 1996).

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GENLISEA TRAPS - A NEW PIECE OF KNOWLEDGE
MILOSLAV STUDNICKA, Botanic Gardens Liberec, 46001 Liberec, Czech Republic

The subterranean traps of Genlisea have been described in detail by various authors such as Lloyd (1942), Fromm-Trinta (1979), Slack (1979), and others, but while these workers examined the details of plant morphology, anatomy and function, they did not answer an important question: What attracts prey organisms into Genlisea traps? Slack (1979) speculated on this topic, "It is not clear whether the trap has any particular power to attract its prey, however. The outer parts are scattered with stalkless (sessile) glands which secrete mucilage, but it is not known whether this is of an alluring nature. "Meanwhile, recent authors specula ted that Genli sea traps could function via suction, by expelling water from the trap interiors (Juniper, Robins and Joel, 1989: 87; Meyers-Rice, 1994), but see Studnicka (1996). Recent studies by Barthlott et al. (1998) in dicate that microfauna such as protozoans may be attracted to Genlisea traps. Still, the que stion remains-what is the attracting agent?

I would like to present a novel expla nation that might explain how Genlisea traps attract prey to their interiors.

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Several ecophysiological observations in Genlisea
by Miloslav Studnicka, Botanic Gardens, 460 01 Liberec, Czech Republic

Thanks to successful cultivation of Genlisea species, it is possible to complement field research with important details. This can be helpful particularly in acquiring better knowledge oflife functions. Six species (G. filiformis, G. hispidula, G. pygmaea, G. repens, G. roraimensis and G. violacea) are cultivated in the Bot. Gardens Liberec (CR).

According to occasional field observations, Genlisea species often grow in water. Never theless, one must question ifthey are true aq uatic plants or if they are in some sense semiterrestrial. We can look for stomata which are considered special aerial organs. Stomata are mostly absent in submerged pla nts but there are several exceptions having rudimentary stomata.

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As a species, Utricularia reniformis Saint-Hilaire is represented by isolated populations in various mountain ranges of south-eastern Brazil in the states of Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Santa Catarina, Paraná and RioGrande do Sul. The vertical range extends from 750 to 2500 metres in elevation. At the same time, they are mentioned in part as a population of very vigorous plants, indicated from the northernmost sections of the area, and in part as a population of relatively small plants (TAYLOR 1980, 1989). Yet for all that, U.reniformis is a species with great variety in dimensions. Examination of cultivated plants, however, has revealed indications that perhaps there is a blend of two species under the name U. reniformis, similar only in the most remarkable attributes, such as flowers and leaves, but differing in adaptations important for survival strategies (STUDNIČKA 2004). In 2000 and again in 2005, I travelled toBrazil to study the population of very large plants in the mountain range of Serrados Órgãos, and to attempt to find another population in the Serra daMantiqueira mountains. I examined these terrestrial carnivorous plants, which do not have any roots, in the terrain and in cultures. I concentrated on the problem of seeds, the study of which in old references is not at all uniform (Fig. 1), of generative propagation and in the morphology of the trap organs (bladders).  Utricularia-cornigera-description.pdf 4 239 kB

 

 

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Only three of the numerous non-aquatic (technically emerged) bladderworts have star-shaped seedlings which function as floats. These South American species are known as plants growing obligatorily (Utricularia nelumbifolia Gardn.) or occasionally (U. cornigera Studnička and U. humboldtii Rob. Schomb.) within phytotelmata in the leaf axils of certain petrophilous bromeliads (TAYLOR 1989). In a previous paper I clarified that U. cornigera had been mistaken for U. reniformis A.St.-Hil. (STUDNIČKA 2009). These species are different, amongst other things in their absolutely distinct seedlings: The true U. reniformis never has star-shaped floating seedlings. From this we can assume that only U. cornigera, U. humboldtii and U. nelumbifolia are capable of germinating within phytotelmata, while U. reniformis is not. The present paper is based on the photographic documents of U. cornigera growing closely together with its host plants. This relation to a species from the Apiaceae family is new for science. Utricularia-cornigera-ecology.pdf 2 023 kB

 

 

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Recently a hypothesis appeared that U. cornigera Studnička could be a hybrid of U. nelumbifolia Gardn. x U. reniformis A.St.-Hil. (Schlauer 2011, Fleischmann 2012). Consequentially, the new species was rejected from the Carnivorous Plant Database (cited above). Nevertheless it was accepted in the International Plant Name Index (IPNI 2005 etc.). This article presents the results of new experiments with artificial crossings of both theoretical parents proposed by the authors. The manner of germination and specifically the appearance of the seedlings are crucial phenomena in the life strategy of bladderworts. In the Utricularia species from the section Iperua there are two different ways of germination: either by floating seedlings (e.g. U. corniculata, U. nelumbifolia), or by terrestrial seedlings (e.g. U. geminiloba, U. nephrophila, and the true U. reniformis).

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