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Data from: Venus flytrap rarely traps its pollinators

Cite this dataset

Youngsteadt, Elsa et al. (2017). Data from: Venus flytrap rarely traps its pollinators [Dataset]. Dryad.


Because carnivorous plants rely on arthropods as pollinators and prey, they risk consuming would-be mutualists. We examined this potential conflict in the Venus flytrap (Dionaea muscipula), whose pollinators were previously unknown. Diverse arthropods from two classes and nine orders visited flowers; 56% of visitors carried D. muscipula pollen, often mixed with pollen of co-flowering species. Within this diverse, generalized community, certain bee and beetle species appear to be the most important pollinators, based on their abundance, pollen load size, and pollen fidelity. D. muscipula prey spanned four invertebrate classes and eleven orders; spiders, beetles, and ants were most common. At the family and species levels, few taxa were shared between traps and flowers, yielding a near-zero value of niche overlap for these potentially competing structures. Spatial separation of traps and flowers may contribute to partitioning the invertebrate community between nutritional and reproductive functions in D. muscipula.

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North Carolina