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Trap Structure of Utricularia Australis - Essay Example

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This paper examines the structure of the Carnivorous bladderworts (Utricularia aceustralis) traps. As the name suggests, this is a plant that possess special suction traps that serves to trap prey mostly small insect larvae, corepods, Rotifers, Ciliates as well as phytoplanktons such as algae and cyanobacteria (Alkhalaf, Hubener, & Porembski, 2009). …
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Trap Structure of Utricularia Australis
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Download file to see previous pages Alkhalaf (2008) further points out that most the Utricularia australis normally colonizes open habitats with scarce macronutrients and in turn compensate this deficiency through attracting, trapping and subsequently digesting small animals from which they derive nitrogenous nutrients. The bladderworts (Utricularia sp) are characterized by possession of some rather tremendously complex structures used for trapping known as suction bladders (Alkhalaf, Hubener, & Porembski, 2009). These highly specialized suction bladders are also responsible for digestion as well as absorption of captured prey. Utricularia tend to grow in marshy habitat, in streaming water or stationary water extending their roots up to several meters below water surface (Davis, 2003). Just as the species name suggest, they are mainly found in some parts of Western Australia, South wales as well as Victoria and Tasmania. The structure of the Trap The suction traps are discoid in shape and hollow with a foliar origin. Their hollow cavity with an average length of about 2.5mm, referred to as the bladder, is filled with water. The bladder is made of a wall thickness of two cells (Adamec, Functional characteristics of traps of aquatic carnivorous Utricularia species, 2011). In the two differing layers of cells, cells in the inner layer are elongated and arranged in a radial manner around the hinge region centrally located. These cells appear to be in concentric circular lines that reveals a constriction of the cells within this region. Thus these constrictions have been deemed to act as pre-folds to increase flexibility in opening and closing the trap door. The bladder also has a glandular layer with a variety of glands as well as trichomes which are also located on the outer surface of the bladder. From the roof of the bladder, there is a beak-like extension that forms a canopy over the entrance curving downwards frontwards such that the base of the beak-like canopy is opposite the base of the trap. The entrance of the bladder is tubular with a very much in-slopping-like door. Similarly, on the external side of the trap door there are trigger hairs, which when touched by a prey organism, they stimulate the opening of the trap door thereby making the prey to suctioned into the trap before the door closes again to create a water tight seal (Adamec, Photosynthetic CO2 af?nity of the aquatic carnivorous plant Utricularia australis (Lentibulariaceae) and its investment in carnivory, 2009). In Utrucularia austali, the traps are regarded to be of great structural and energetic benefit. They normally alter the percentage of the trap biomass depending on their certain habitat factors such availability of prey (Adamec, Sirova, Vrba, & Rejmankova, 2010). As a matter of fact, nearly 55% of the plant’s total biomass is formed by the traps. Both the internal and external glands serve to secrete mucilage that attracts organisms into the traps. This is the case especially when capturing the free floating phytoplankton that cannot move by themselves. It has been documented that in some instances, the traps establishes a mutual existence with some of the captured preys especially phytoplankton, where the traps serve as safe habitats to the phytoplankton whereas the latter provides the plant with nitrogenous products released by these organisms (Alkhalaf, Hubener, & Porembski, 2009). Development of trap In terms of the developmental stage of the trap, Adamec (2009) points out that traps begin to form as early as possible since they form a very basic organ. This is the case because their chlorophyll ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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The topic of "Trap Structure of Utricularia Australis" is quite often seen among the assignments in university. Still, this paper opens a brand new perspective of seeing the problem. I’ll use the manner for my own document.

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