Pinguicula lutea Walter (yellow butterwort; Lentibulariaceae), a carnivorous plant, inhabits the longleaf pine savannas of the southeast US and has received heightened conservation status in Florida. This species is comprised of a basal rosette with flypaper-like leaves capable of trapping and digesting prey. Individual flowers emerge from the rosette center on elongated scapes. Petals fuse midway down the corolla, tapering to a nectar spur. Trapping ability, floral morphology, and herkogamic arrangement of the reproductive organs suggest this species relies on insects for both pollination and supplemental nutrition, yet breeding system and prey communities remain unknown. The objectives of this study are to 1) determine breeding system and 2) conduct a general survey of prey and arthropod availability. We investigated breeding system at eight populations during the 2013 flowering period (February-March) by examining the potential for autogamy vs. xenogamy as well as self-compatibility vs. self-incompatibility. We also collected flowers to determine pollen to ovule ratios. Additionally, we conducted prey capture and arthropod availability surveys in May and August 2013 and identified arthropods to the order level. Results suggest that P. lutea is self-compatible and xenogamous; however, the pollen to ovule ratio somewhat contradicts this conclusion. The results of the prey capture survey suggests that P. lutea’s main prey is not Diptera or Hymenoptera, as is true of many other carnivorous plant species. This report is the first rigorous assessment of breeding system and field prey capture surveys for Pinguicula lutea and provides the foundation necessary to develop more complex questions pertaining to plant-insect interactions associated with this system.
|Original language||English (US)|
|State||Published - 2014|