Pollution Makes Carnivorous Plants Vegetarian

Oftentimes, accounts of pollution actually modifying nature, climates and species are not perceived to be our problem. For the most part, pollution problems are seen as something that happens to others, perhaps on the other side of the planet. However, it’s the odd and small news such as pollution making carnivorous plants vegetarian that could pinpoint the major changes we’re all vulnerable to.

Most of nature news goes by unheard off. But some of that news really emphasize how much the nature was affected by pollution. It’s mainly the media’s fault for not taking the time to give coverage to most of the reports, but every now and then something odd surfaces to grab our attention. Now, pollution making carnivorous plants vegetarian is a good enough odd news!

Physorg writes that in northern Europe some carnivorous plants are now turning down meat based meals for some veggies. A new research has shown that carnivorous plants in the sundew drosera rotundifolia species has lost interest in praying on bugs. Apparently these plants live in an area where the pollution is pretty high. They are so fed up with nutrients from the polluted air and soil they don’t need any more.

Dr. Jonathan Millett from Loughborough University and lead author of the research, explains that the artificial rain of nitrogen has dramatically impacted specialized ecosystems. Nitrogen is released from ordinary activities, such as industry and transport fossil fuels burning. The data showed that carnivorous plants in highly polluted areas were getting more than half of their nutrient necessary from nitrogen carried by bugs. These plants have changed their behavior and are eating less meat based meals.

And Dr. Millett noticed something more. Not only was the pollution making the carnivorous plants eat less but it also changed their morphology. The plants changed colors to green which allows for better photosynthesis, rather than bright reddish which entices bugs. At the same time, the plants lost most of their stickiness, and thus losing most of their ability to catch their prey.

There are two aspects you should remember. First of all, pollution is more serious than imagined and Dr. Millett’s study shows exactly its impact on nature. Secondly, the finding gives vegetarians one more argument in staying away from meat. Their opinion that meat does not provide for enough nutrients or calories has even been confirmed by plants.

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