The effect of increased atmospheric nitrogen deposition on prey capture in the purple pitcher plant, Sarracenia purpurea

Project Overview
Human activities, like the burning of fossil fuels and industrial fertilizer use, have substantially increased the amount of nitrogen (NOx) entering the atmosphere and more than doubled the amount of nitrogen entering the terrestrial nitrogen cycle by deposition. Increased nitrogen deposition may have greater influence in sensitive nitrogen deficient environments, like bogs, fens, and swamps. The leaves of carnivorous plants, like Sarracenia purpurea, are modified to serve two functions: carbon capture and nitrogen capture by trapping insects. Since pitcher plants rely heavily on prey capture for nitrogen acquisition, it is possible that they are critically sensitive to changes in nitrogen levels. The goal of this study is to learn how increased nitrogen deposition might affect the ability of S. purpurea to capture prey and obtain sufficient nitrogen.
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