In a twisted form of news that has come about us is that pollution changes a way carnivorous acts, in short it makes it vegetarian like its other naturally-found compatriots. Isn’t that some sort of a news? Pollution is meant to be bad for health and for the environment but this is one instance where it seems to be doing something good for the environment or is that good a deal?
Innumerable number of people have started adopting vegetarianism as a way of life and it has started been propagated all across the world but I think these carnivorous plants have taken this a bit too far by turning all green. According to Physorg.com it has been reported that these plants are showing a considerable change in their meat-eating nature. Researchers from Loughborough University in England have found out that a carnivorous plant named the common sundew (drosera rotundifolia in scientific terminology), found across northern Europe has started becoming a vegetarian when came in contact with human-created pollution.
This plant is otherwise a small and sticky meat-eating plant but because of large levels of nitrogen found in their soil due to the heavy burning of fossil fuels, they have stopped acting like a meat eating plant after all. This carnivorous plant no longer needs nutrients from eating insects as it is getting all the essential nutrients from its soil as a result of heavy pollution. Dr. Jonathan Millett, the report’s lead author explained, “If there’s plenty of nitrogen available to their roots, they don’t need to eat as much.”
For our information, Nitrogen pollution is just about one of the by-product of the burning of fossil fuels. It gets deposited into the ecosystem via rainfall and that is how it reaches the soil. Researchers in this study were able to analyse how much the plants were absorbing nitrogen from the soil instead of eating insects as nitrogen isotopes differentiate on their nature of existence, that is, whether they are naturally found or found via industrial or human means. This study indicated that plants from areas that were heavily polluted got just 22 percent of their nitrogen from insects in comparison to those that were in control populations with a staggering 57 percent.
Interestingly the study indicates that these carnivorous plants are not just eating lesser number of insects but changing their morphology. These plants were becoming less sticky making their catch an even difficult job. Also they have started becoming green in colour changing from red to green. This colour change has in fact started helping these carnivorous plants to engage in photosynthesis more efficiently. This simply means that these meat-eating plants were becoming like other green plants, the vegetarian ones. Now what do you have to say humans?