Heliamphora nutans, importance of light intensity

     When Heliamphora nutans and other species get too little light, the pitchers do not develop, and the leaves remain flat photosynthetic organs. This tendency is visible on two pitchers on the picture. The possibility of the leaves to solely serve photosynthesis or at stronger light to be both photosynthetic organs and pitfall traps may be interpreted as an adaptation to an increased need of nutrition at high growth rate. Normally well-lit plants grow faster than plants in the shadow. By changing to the carnivorous life form Heliamphora can get the extra nourishment which is needed for faster growth in the normally nutrient poor biotopes where Heliamphora grows.

Henning S. Heide-Jørgensen, marts 2010.

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