Science

Carnivorous Plants Are Becoming Vegetarian Because Of Pollution

Carnivorous plant, such as the Venus flytrap, are apparently becoming less bug-eating and more root-using because of the pollution humans cause. Nitrogen in the air is giving them enough nutrients that they don’t need to eat as many bugs.

It’s actually a logical transformation that us excess-loving humans might find a hard time relating to. The plants have cut down on eating bugs because they get enough nutrients from the soil. They don’t need to eat more and get fat! They don’t need a super-size meal! How did this vegetarian trend start? Are naked celebrities covered in fur behind this? Not quite.

According to Dr Jonathan Millet from Loughborough University, human activities, such as burning fossil fuels, have upped the nitrogen in the air. The nitrogen drops to the ground with the rain and get inhaled by the carnivorous plants’ roots. Plants in more heavily polluted areas only get 22 per cent of their nitrogen deposition through eating bugs, while plants who are, uh, planted in areas with light pollution snag 57 per cent of their nitrogen from bugs. That’s a big difference! According to the study, the plants are turning off their bug-eating ways by making their leaves less sticky and changing its colours. Read more about the study here. [Chem.info via Inhabitat]

Image: Marco Uliana/Shutterstock


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