Nutrient and metal concentrations in Nepenthes macfarlanei Hemsl. (Nepenthaceae) from a Malaysian montane forest
Palaeotropical pitcher plants (Nepenthes) are a fascinating evolutionary case but their nutrient relationships are poorly known. To determine nutrient and metal concentrations in Nepenthes macfarlanei from Peninsular Malaysia, and contribute to our understanding of nutrient relationships in this genus, plants were sampled from the Genting Highlands – a disturbed montane forest location. Whilst many foliar nutrients showed typical concentrations, the foliar N concentration was, surprisingly, greater than most lowland species although the N:P ratio (c. 24) indicated nitrogen limitation in line with other studies on Nepenthes. Of particular note was the variable but high (< 240 µg g-1) lead concentrations that have not been reported in carnivorous plants before. This data adds to our understanding of the nutrient relationships of carnivorous plants and shows that they may accumulate high concentrations of certain metals.
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