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Data from: Predatory dipteran larva contributes to nutrient sequestration in a carnivorous pitcher plant

Citation

Lam, Weng Ngai et al. (2018), Data from: Predatory dipteran larva contributes to nutrient sequestration in a carnivorous pitcher plant, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.b7n6h

Abstract

The fluids of Nepenthes pitcher plants are habitats to many specialised animals known as inquilines, which facilitate the conversion of prey protein into pitcher-absorbable nitrogen forms such as ammonium. Xenoplatyura beaveri (Diptera: Mycetophilidae) is a predatory dipteran inquiline that inhabits the pitchers of N. ampullaria. Larvae of X. beaveri construct sticky webs over the fluid surface of N. ampullaria to ensnare emerging adult dipteran inquilines. However, the interaction between X. beaveri and its host has never been examined before, as it is not known if X. beaveri can contribute to nutrient sequestration in N. ampullaria. X. beaveri individuals were reared in artificial pitchers in the laboratory on a diet of emergent Tripteroides tenax mosquitoes, and the ammonium concentration of the pitcher fluids were measured over time. Fluid ammonium concentration in tubes containing X. beaveri were significantly greater than those of the controls. Furthermore, fluid ammonium concentrations increased greatly after X. beaveri larvae metamorphosed, although the cause for this increase could not be identified. Our results show that a terrestrial, inquiline predator can contribute significantly to nutrient sequestration in the phytotelma it inhabits, and suggest that this interaction has a net mutualistic outcome for both species.

Usage Notes

Location

Singapore