Does anyone know of any documentation on the mixture of dissolved gasses in Nepenthes' pitcher fluid?
I had this idea that N. lowii could be controlling the gaseous mix in the bulbous, tank-like lower part of its pitcher. Given its unique shape, I'd think there would be a different amount of dissolved gas in the pitcher liquid than N. rajah, for example. At first I wondered if this could be related the specificity of their diet and the different microbes needed to process that much nitrogen.
This article states that all Nepenthes use CO2 produced by pitcher microbes, as well as secrete oxygen into their pitchers to maintain an aerobic environment for nitrogen-cycling microbes, and that N. gracilis even uses H2O2 to digest its prey.
So, my question is: Could they also reabsorb this oxygen during nighttime respiration (something they seem to have difficulty with)? The pitcher being a living "oxygen tank," trapping a small amount of the oxygen released during the day, as well as a trap? As I understand it, this could really tip the scale for an organism with a metabolism such as theirs, helping to store carbohydrates and also vent the plant of metabolic wastes as they're produced.
I have sent versions of this post to a few members already, so please pardon me for plagiarizing myself. I'm an amateur and would appreciate any comments!
I basically mean that the shape of a pitcher is not only an appropriate trap shape, but also the perfect shape for storing dissolved gasses in water. For example, a wide fish bowl allows more diffusion of oxygen into the tank than a narrow fish bowl. Or vise versa, a champagne flute keeps the carbonation in the glass. As plants deal in mixtures and gradients of gaseous elements in general, I wondered if the pitcher could have some facilitating function on oxygen and CO2 as well as the typically thought of nitrogen.
The cooling cycle which many Nepenthes require would also slowly pump gasses in and out of the pitcher, as gasses become more soluble in water as the temperature drops, and the thermal mass of the pitcher fluid would cause a constant "lagging" temperature differential between the pitcher the rest of the plant.
It may be as simple as the pitcher is just a good shape to be used as a toilet, or much more complicated things are happening as primary, secondary or even tertiary evolutionary drivers. According to some reports lowii can exist without roots getting all its water from rain. The narrow neck would help revent rapid evaporation of the water in the pitchers. For some species I have kept rootless plants alive and growing well for over a year until new roots have formed by keeping pitchers topped up so i can see an advantage in narrow necks simply for evaporation loss control. Plants with very viscous fluid may also lose less through evaporation as well. If plants really do grow rootless then conserving water reserves would be a big advantage.
Do neps have trouble absorbing oxygen from air at night? Theres much more leaf area than trap area. Interesting idea though.
Interesting, thanks Mark. You're right, there is no shortage of oxygen in the air, lol. Also, even at saturation, the molar concentrations of dissolved gasses in the pitcher fluid would not yield much oxygen really.
thatoneplantboi: Hey guys, I'm new to growing nepenthes, I'm getting a mini indoor greenhouse to grow them in. What kind of light should I use for them? Also, if you could provide a link to a product, it would be very much appreciated
Oct 5, 2017 10:16:29 GMT 7
borneo: Yes, they work superbly. But you don't need expensive lights, cheap ones work well too.
Sept 2, 2018 14:34:57 GMT 7
mylesg: i havent checked in here for a while, why does it seem all the CP forums have lost their once strong activity? the trade/sale section used to be so active and now its a ghost town. where is everybody hanging out these days for a strong online CP community?
Dec 9, 2018 3:15:01 GMT 7
mylesg: Happy holidays to everyone out there!
Dec 26, 2018 0:23:13 GMT 7
lance: Everyone left the forums and moved to facebook groups.
Oct 2, 2019 12:09:05 GMT 7
mylesg: yes, facebook groups will never have same feel as this place once did
Nov 3, 2019 8:34:22 GMT 7
etiennecancio: perhaps we can try to revitalize the old forums? i always found them to be much more convenient than facebook groups at least hah
Nov 4, 2019 17:01:25 GMT 7
mylesg: i refuse to abandon this place, i am posting in my grow thread with many photos and always there to answer any questions just built new grow room and tons of pitcher shots!
Nov 6, 2019 21:17:59 GMT 7
vidyut: hey mylesg. glad to hear that. Love this forum. Facebook can't organize knowledge like this. Will participate as much as I can.
Nov 25, 2019 5:37:09 GMT 7
vidyut: Photobucket has ruined this place and many other forum archives with years and years of photos worth referencing now blurred. Priceless information hostage to services once free, begging for adoption, arbitrarily monetized.
Nov 25, 2019 16:28:58 GMT 7
bonfield: This forum is almost at 13K total threads, I can't wait to read the topic that pushes it past the mark!
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arvin555: I do not like FB forums because it is difficult to read back Archives. Let us keep this forum alive!
Dec 9, 2019 11:14:09 GMT 7
mylesg: just posted ton of new pics in my thread!
Feb 9, 2020 3:40:25 GMT 7