Title

The Potential Role of Fenestrations as Visual Lures in the Hooded Pitcher Plant Sarracenia Minor (Sarraceniaceae) and Their Influence on Prey Capture and Diversity

Year

2010

Season

Fall

Paper Type

Master's Thesis

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Biology (MA)

Department

Biology

First Advisor

Dr. Anthony Rossi

Second Advisor

Dr. Daniel Moon

Third Advisor

Dr. Dale Casamatta

Department Chair

Dr. Courtenay Hackney

College Dean

Dr. Barbara A. Hetrick

Abstract

The function of visual lures in pitcher plants (Sarraceniaceae) is not fully understood. There have been numerous studies that have focused on visual lures such as coloration and ultraviolet patterns, but none have focused on the suggested "visual lures" of fenestrations. This study examined the relationship between the percentages of visible fenestrations on the pitchers of Sarracenia minor and their effect on the rate and diversity of prey the pitchers attract and capture, in northeast Florida. At a sunny field site, as the percentage of visible fenestrations decreased, the number of prey significantly decreased. At a shaded site, no significant effect was observed between the percentage of visible fenestrations and the rate of prey capture. Data from this study suggest that the role of fenestrations as "visual lures" is still not clear. Also, fenestrations on S. minor may not act alone in attracting and capturing prey, but possibly in conjunction with other variables, like light intensity, which might be affecting the function of these "visual lures".

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