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Life in Freshwater

Lesser Bladderwort ( Utricularia minor )

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The plant is an unattached series of inter-twined stems suspended in the water. It has no roots and the leaves are reduced to feathery filaments with occasional bladders. Yellow flowers are borne on tall stems that project above the water surface. The Greater Bladderwort ( U. Vulgaris ) is a similar species.

Often found in pools of water in bogs on moorland and heaths. Widespread. The Greater Bladderwort ( U. vulgaris ) is not so restricted to acid bogs but is also found in calcareous fens

ECOLOGY: This is an aquatic insectivorous plant. The bladders are small containers with a mild vacuum. As small aquatic animals brush pass the entrance they may trigger tiny hairs causing the bladder to open. The sudden in- rush of water takes the animal with it, thus trapping it. The underwater leaves carry out photosynthesis but require the animal material as a nitrogen source. This is a useful adaptation to living in nutrient poor water, e.g. acidic water near heathland.


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