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研究人员在加拿大发现了食肉植物

kira86 于2019-06-19发布 l 已有人浏览
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研究人员称他们在加拿大发现了一种不仅吃昆虫、还会至少以一两种两栖动物为食的植物。
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Researchers Discover Meat-Eating Plant in Canada

研究人员在加拿大发现了食肉植物

Researchers say they have discovered a plant in Canada that not only eats insects, but also feeds on at least one amphibious creature.

研究人员称他们在加拿大发现了一种不仅吃昆虫、还会至少以一两种两栖动物为食的植物。

The discovery was recently reported in a study by a research team from Canada’s University of Guelph in Ontario. The study was published in the journal Ecology.

来自加拿大安大略省圭尔夫大学的研究小组最近在一项研究论文中报告了这一发现。这项研究发表在《生态学》期刊上。

The research involved pitcher plants in Ontario’s Algonquin Provincial Park. The plants – which take many shapes and sizes and have colorful designs - grow in wetlands across Canada.

这项研究涉及安大略省阿尔冈昆省公园的猪笼草。这种植物生长在加拿大各处的湿地中,形状各异、大小不一,且颜色丰富。

A pitcher plant’s leaves usually form a tall, narrow pocket that can hold liquid. Insects and spiders that enter the pocket often become trapped and the pitcher plant then feeds on their bodies.

猪笼草的叶子通常会形成一个又长又窄的“口袋”以装液体。进入这一“口袋”的昆虫和蜘蛛往往会被困在“口袋里”,然后猪笼草会吃掉它们的尸体。

Pitcher plants are often found in bogs - soft, extremely wet areas. The plants are known for feeding on small organisms – such as insects and spiders – that get caught in the trap.

猪笼草通常生长在沼泽地区——即泥土非常湿软的地区。这种植物以用陷阱捕获的昆虫和蜘蛛等小型生物为食。

But the researchers made a surprising discovery - the pitcher plants were also feeding on young salamanders. A salamander is a lizard-like amphibian.

但是研究人员报告了一个惊人的发现——猪笼草还会以蝾螈幼崽为食。蝾螈是类似蜥蜴的两栖动物。

The research team said it believes this is the first time any North American pitcher plants have been observed feeding on anything besides insects or spiders.

研究小组表示,他们认为这是研究人员首次观察到北美地区的猪笼草食用除昆虫或蜘蛛之外的生物。

In the summer of 2017, then University of Guelph student Teskey Baldwin found a salamander trapped inside a pitcher plant while doing field work in the provincial park. One of the biggest surprises was that the discovery did not happen earlier, the researchers said.

2017年夏天,当时在圭尔夫大学就读的学生特斯基·鲍德温在阿岗昆省立公园进行实地考查,他发现一只蝾螈被困在了猪笼草中。研究人员表示,最令人惊讶的是,以前竟然没有发现这一情况。

Alex Smith is a biology professor at the University of Guelph and co-writer of the study. He told Canada’s CTV News the research station near the bog where the pitcher plants were observed has been there for 70 years.

亚历克斯·史密斯是圭尔夫大学的生物学教授,也是这项研究的共同作者。他在接受加拿大 CTV News采访时表示,在观察猪笼草的沼泽附近有一个猪笼草研究站,而这家研究站已经设立了70年了。

“So the surprise was that we discovered such a new case of plants eating vertebrates involving such a well-known species in such a well-known space,” Smith said.

史密斯表示到:“在如此又名的场所,我们发现了如此有名的一种植物竟然存在这样一个植物吃脊椎动物的新案例,所以才令人惊讶。”

During visits to a single area of the park in fall of 2018, the research team found almost one in five pitcher plants contained young salamanders. The amphibians were each about as long as a human finger.

研究团队在2018年秋季考察公园的一个区域时发现,近五分之一的猪笼草中都有被困住的有蝾螈幼崽。每个被困的幼崽的体长都有约人类手指那么长。

Several plants contained more than one captured salamander. Some of the trapped salamanders died within three days, while others lived for up to 19 days, the study found.

还有多个猪笼草里不止困有一只蝾螈。研究发现,其中一些受困蝾螈不到3天就会死亡,而其它蝾螈则可以坚持存活19天。

The researchers said they do not know what killed the salamanders. They could have died from proteins produced by the pitcher plants that are held in liquid inside the leaves. This liquid mixture is designed to break down organisms trapped in the plants to aid the feeding process.

研究人员表示,他们不知道是什么导致了蝾螈的死亡。造成蝾螈死亡可能是猪笼草叶子内的液体所分泌的蛋白质。这种液体混合物旨在分解被困在猪笼草里的生物体,以辅助进食。

The researchers suggested other possible causes for the salamander deaths could have included heat, starvation or infections. Organisms living in the pitcher may also help break down the salamanders’ bodies.

研究人员认为,造成蝾螈死亡的其他原因可能包括高温、饥饿或感染。猪笼草里的有机体可能还会帮助分解蝾螈的尸体。

The study found that there are also several possible reasons the young salamanders are drawn to the plants in the first place. One is that they fall into the plant pockets accidentally. They also could go in to find a place to hide or to feed on insects or spiders already trapped there.

研究发现,蝾螈幼崽最开始掉进猪笼草的原因可能有几个。其一是这些幼崽可能是不小心掉进去的。另外,它们也可能是进入猪笼草寻找躲藏的地方;或者是想吃被困在猪笼草里的昆虫或蜘蛛。

The researchers say pitcher plants clearly get a lot more nutrients from salamanders than from insects and spiders. So there is no reason to think that the plants will not continue feeding on them.

研究人员表示,猪笼草从蝾螈那里得到的养分显然比从昆虫和蜘蛛那里得到的养分要多得多。因此,没有理由认为猪笼草不会继续以蝾螈为食。

Meat-eating pitcher plants have been known since the eighteenth century, the University of Guelph says. One species discovered 10 years ago in Asia feeds mostly on insects and spiders, but sometimes captures small birds and mice.

圭尔夫大学表示,食肉猪笼草早在18世纪就为人所知。10年前在亚洲发现的一个猪笼草物种主要以昆虫和蜘蛛为食,但有时也会捕捉小鸟和老鼠为食。

Alex Smith said the discovery opens some new questions that future research might help explain. Are salamanders an important feeding source for pitcher plants? Are the plants important “predators” of the amphibians? Might the salamanders compete with plants for insect food?

亚历克斯·史密斯表示,这一发现引发了许多新问题,也许未来的研究能进行解答。蝾螈是猪笼草的重要食物来源吗?猪笼草是蝾螈重要的“捕食者”吗?蝾螈会和植物抢昆虫食物吗?

The university said the discovery area could even be called the “Little Bog of Horrors” after a Broadway musical and film that includes a giant plant that likes to eat people.

圭尔夫大学表示,这一发现区甚至可能会以百老汇音乐剧和电影《恐怖小店》命名,该作品里有一种喜欢吃人的巨型植物。

I’m Bryan Lynn.

布莱恩·林恩报道。

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