March 02, 2021
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New England Carnivorous Plant Society


"The mission of the New England Carnivorous Plant Society shall be to share, to gain knowledge of, and to achieve expertise in all phases of growing, education, appreciation, and conservation of carnivorous plants in both culture and in native habitats."

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NECPS March meeting

The location of the March meeting has not been decided. Look here when it is.

One-fourth of carnivorous plant species at risk of extinction, study finds

Swimming across a crocodile-filled river full and dodging venomous snakes in search of rare carnivorous plants is all in a day's work for Dr. Adam Cross, restoration ecologist at Curtin University in Perth, Australia. Cross conducts much of his fieldwork in Western Australia's Kimberley region, where he sidesteps deadly wildlife and endures broiling 104-degree Fahrenheit temperatures in suffocating humidity in search of elusive carnivorous plants.

A quarter of the world's 860 known carnivorous plant species are at risk of extinction as a result of climate change and threats like land clearing and poaching, according to a study Cross and his colleagues recently published in Global Ecology and Conservation.

Carnivorous plants are unique because they gain nutrients from prey. They mostly lure and eat insects, though some can also derive nutrients from small animals. The popular Venus flytrap is a well-known example, luring small insects such as flies to its open leaves with a sweet nectar scent; once the fly brushes up against a trigger hair, Venus snaps the leaves shut, trapping the fly, which it then dissolves with digestive enzymes.

Sensitive and specialized, carnivorous plants typically grow in "nutrient-impoverished habitats where carnivory offers a competitive advantage," according to the Cross report.

"Carnivorous plants, more so than almost any other group of plant, occupy extremely narrow ecological niches because carnivory is basically a strategy that has evolved to allow plants to be competitive in typically nutrient-poor soils and in habitats where other plants often find it very challenging to be competitive," Cross says.

Read the Full Article Here

Venus Flytraps Are Even Crazier Than We Thought

Most plants on Earth get everything they need through the ground in which they grow, rain falling from the sky, and sunlight beaming down on them from above. Some, however, have adapted to nutritional deficiencies in the soil of some regions and evolved to get those nutrients from other sources. Carnivorous plants don't eat insects just because they want to. They do it because they need to in order to survive.

One of the most famous of all carnivorous plants is the Venus flytrap. An elegantly simple plant that uses traps lined with fine hair-like fibers that snap shut as soon as it is triggered by an unassuming insect. They are remarkable plants, and new research reveals that they're even more incredible than previously thought. You see, it seems that these plants can actually generate their own magnetic field

As LiveScience reports, the study published in Scientific Reports focused on the electrical activity generated within the plant, including the signals sent by one part of the plant to another to trigger the closure of the leaf-like traps. In observing this incredible process, the researchers were able to measure a magnetic field being produced by the plant.

Biomagnetism, which is a magnetic force generated by a living thing, isn't a new concept. We know that organs like the human heart produce a very weak magnetic field, as do the brain and even the lungs. However, the amount of research into the magnetic field generated by plants is less robust, and the discovery of a magnetic field coming from a Venus flytrap begs for an explanation.

Read the Full Article Here

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Have an idea for a presentation or demonstration? If there is a meeting or other event that the NECPS will be participating in, or some other carnivorous plant related news item that you would like to share? Please forward the information to the Webmaster so that it can be included here.

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Membership Dues are payable at or before the January meeting.

World Carnivorous Plant Day - May 5th, 2021

The ICPS is proud to promote the first ever World Carnivorous Plant Day, to be held on Wednesday, May 5th 2021. In lieu of the international conference in Himeji, Japan, World Carnivorous Plant Day 2021 will serve as the preeminent carnivorous plant event of the year. This day-long web event will stand in for the delayed ICPS conference. The conference has been rescheduled to occur in Japan in 2022.

World Carnivorous Plant Day was first brought to the attention of the ICPS Board of Directors in 2020 by Krzysztof Banas of Poland. Krzysztof envisioned a day that brought carnivorous plants into the spotlight of public awareness and education.

To feature these wonderful plants, the ICPS will be hosting a number of online events, including a logo design contest from January to February 12th, a photo contest beginning on February 15th, and a free and publicly-accessible web-based conference

Organized by the International Carnivorous Plant Society to celebrate its 50th year of operation, this "online conference" will bring together presenters from around the world. Featuring a global selection of botanists, horticulturalists, and other enthusiasts, these presentations will be a platform for these experts from all over the world to share their knowledge of carnivorous plants and experiences with them in a universally accessible way.

While the logistics and format of the event are still in development, the team is working to find a way to facilitate a Q&A session with as many presenters as possible in their own time-zone.

Presenters are asked to present a subject that is particularly inspiring to them in their career with CPs - a discovery of a species, a recollection of an important event, or even witnessing the devastation of CP habitat in the wild. These topics are suggestions, intended to show the value of carnivorous plant science and horticulture, and the community that fosters it, directly to the public. Non-English speaking presenters are especially invited to present in their own languages for their own audiences. Please spread the word about this upcoming event, and reference this page for further updates in the future!

Read the Full Article Here

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