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Kevin Tonnerre

A.vesiculosa, D.anglica & intermedia & rotundifolia, P.alpina & vulgaris, S.purpurea, U.minor/bremii & australis & intermedia & vulgaris

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I'm glad that you showed Aldrovanda growing in such shallow and filthy waters, it's where they grow best in my pond as well; they really seem to get a boost when I walk through the detritus and silt with my chest waders and churn up all that junk leaving the water a thick slurry the consistency of pea soup! In about a week, they seem to double their size and numbers. I suppose it activates a lot of zooplankton critters, eager to get to the surface layer for some fresh air, often getting caught in the Aldrovanda traps along with all that sediment and minerals it contains. The shallow areas contain the highest population densities of the zooplankton community, and the close proximity to the large companion monocot plants also provides the highest concentration of CO2. - Rich

Edited by rsivertsen

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Nice pictures! Here in The Netherlands Aldrovanda vesiculosa is still present in Nieuwkoop! I saw on 'waarneming.nl' a publication about it from a couple of weeks ago. Its Dutch name is watervliegenval.

Well it survival in Europe can be enhanced by introduction in suitable habitats. Besides the Swizz example there is now also the Dutch one.

Alexander

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Alexander, introducing the plants is not as easy as it seems. From what ive read, there are quite a few failed attempts of introducing Aldrovanda to more locations in Switzerland (with material of the former Bodensee location, which is now the swiss location), the plants survive at first but somehow disappear with the years.

And i didnt know that Aldrovanda also exists in Holland, quite an interesting fact! Do you know if they were also introduced, or if its really a local population?

Anyway, today i found Utricularia intermedia.

Many plants live in the numerous little ponds and trenches around a lake. These pools sometimes also flood the footpath

mg1517.jpg

This is the ditch on the right hand of the flooded walkway, most plants were found in such knee-deep water holes

mg1516.jpg

Obviously not enough water to grow

mg1526.jpg

Closeup of the plant, note the white underground stolons, which bears traps, a typical feature of Utricularia intermedia

mg1505z.jpg

The plants usually dont float, in contrast to most european bladderworts, but are hooked to the ground and form their underground stolons. This photo demonstrates it with an overview of such a ditch. These plants could be U. stygia, but i still think its U. intermedia, as the plants seem variable in shape, and being in deeper water they do get thinner leaves, similar to U. stygia

mg1514.jpg

Carefully walking along some Sphagnum with Drosera rotundifolia (like this one, sending up a flower stalk)...

mg1545z.jpg

...I came to this place. The water is only slightly higher than the ground

mg1567td.jpg

And this is what grows there: Drosera intermedia. A vulnerable population of only roughly 60-70 plants

mg1556c.jpg

Typically, the roots are under the water level. Note the flower stalk. This population was surrounded by Drosera rotundifolia populations, but the closest one was maybe 20 meters, and of course, no hybrids (Drosera x beleziana) were found, eventhough im sure that the blooming time overlaps

mg1555z.jpg

And most likely Utricularia australis in a big, deep and filthy pond, growing together with at least Utricularia intermedia if i remember correctly

mg1583.jpg

Edited by Kevin Tonnerre

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This is a very good post which confirms what I've been saying for several years now, Aldrovanda is NOT very easy to introduce and naturalize! Those fears that it could become a feral and invasive exotic invader and nuisance weed are all grossly over exaggerated and unfounded in scientific fact! Their requirements are very complex as it involves many other symbiotic relationships on several different levels, and they are quite exact, slim and precise, and if those requirements are NOT met, they simply go into decline and do NOT return in years to come. We need to document these reasons and find out why this plant is going extinct so fast in so many original sites where they were once grew!

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This is a very good post which confirms what I've been saying for several years now, Aldrovanda is NOT very easy to introduce and naturalize! Those fears that it could become a feral and invasive exotic invader and nuisance weed are all grossly over exaggerated and unfounded in scientific fact! Their requirements are very complex as it involves many other symbiotic relationships on several different levels, and they are quite exact, slim and precise, and if those requirements are NOT met, they simply go into decline and do NOT return in years to come. We need to document these reasons and find out why this plant is going extinct so fast in so many original sites where they were once grew!

Well thats very simple, in the past a lot of the countryside was poor in nutrions due to traditional agriculture. But since the introdcution of artificiel fertilizer every area could be made fertil for growing crops. And since industrial agriculture it gets worse and worse. Large aereas in Europe have became bassically ecological desserts! And then there is the problem of draining of wetlands.

Well very sensitive/picky plants and animals are the first to go! When a wetland with Aldrovanda gets poluted from surrounding farmland with water rich in nutrions like phospate and nitrogen its will mean the end for those plants. And get replaced by common stuff like duckweed.

Alexander

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Alexander, introducing the plants is not as easy as it seems. From what ive read, there are quite a few failed attempts of introducing Aldrovanda to more locations in Switzerland (with material of the former Bodensee location, which is now the swiss location), the plants survive at first but somehow disappear with the years.

And i didnt know that Aldrovanda also exists in Holland, quite an interesting fact! Do you know if they were also introduced, or if its really a local population?

Anyway, today i found Utricularia intermedia.

Many plants live in the numerous little ponds and trenches around a lake. These pools sometimes also flood the footpath

mg1517.jpg

This is the ditch on the right hand of the flooded walkway, most plants were found in such knee-deep water holes

mg1516.jpg

Obviously not enough water to grow

mg1526.jpg

Closeup of the plant, note the white underground stolons, which bears traps, a typical feature of Utricularia intermedia

mg1505z.jpg

The plants usually dont float, in contrast to most european bladderworts, but are hooked to the ground and form their underground stolons. This photo demonstrates it with an overview of such a ditch. These plants are probably Utricularia stygia, though

mg1514.jpg

Carefully walking along some Sphagnum with Drosera rotundifolia (like this one, sending up a flower stalk)...

mg1545z.jpg

...I came to this place. The water is only slightly higher than the ground

mg1567td.jpg

And this is what grows there: Drosera intermedia. A vulnerable population of only roughly 60-70 plants

mg1556c.jpg

Typically, the roots are under the water level. Note the flower stalk. This population was surrounded by Drosera rotundifolia populations, but the closest one was maybe 20 meters, and of course, no hybrids (Drosera x beleziana) were found, eventhough im sure that the blooming time overlaps

mg1555z.jpg

And most likely Utricularia australis in a big, deep and filthy pond, growing together with i think both Utricularia intermedia and Utricularia stygia

mg1583.jpg

The Aldrovandas in Nieuwkoop where introduced 5 years ago. The Polish and the red Hungarian one. And it was a gamble. The probable reason they where not found here has maybe to do with the summers being to cold. But near Zurich its not that warm either.

Well the habitad seems to be ok for them otherwise they would have dissapaird in one year I guess.

By the way in Zwitserland does Aldrovanda grows together with Utricularia intermedia and U. australis? And with other Utricularias? Is there an Aldrovanda on the last picture by the way?

The person whom has introduced them in Zwitserland has done an excellent job. Well now it would be illigal I guess due to those ecologist whom say that it would be an exotic plant because it was not growing there naturally.

A kind of ecological 'blood and boden' mentality...

Alexander

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Alexander, you can look at my posted images of Aldrovanda to answer your own question... ;-)

But yes, Utricularia grows there too, although quite outnumbered by Aldrovanda, or at least when i was there this spring. I have to add, that i didnt walk around the whole lake, but just one side.

Utricularia identification is quite a pain i have to admit, so all these Utricularia-IDs in my thread are to be taken with a pinch of salt. Its just based on a mix of my knowledge and some literature and publications of Utricularia in this region. For example, U. bremii is said to be in that lake, where i found Aldrovanda, so i assumed the plants i saw were U. bremii, since it didnt belong neither to the australis/vulgaris group (although some U. australis occured in that region, but not exactly "next" to Aldrovanda), nor to the intermedia/stygia/ochroleuca group.

Im not sure if its really the temperature that makes good ol Aldrovanda happy, although that lake clearly is warmer than the bigger lakes around here. But if it were solely for that, the plant should enjoy the higher temperatures caused by global warming and not decay (besides, you already pointed out that Zürich is not really warmer than "your" region).

I also consider it a good thing, that Aldrovanda has been introduced here, which gives Switzerland a high international responsibility, since the number of plants are depleting in europe. Its actually quite nonsense if one would consider this a crime. Switzerland is rich in lakes and many birds migrate throughout the year and make stops at these important locations, so the plants might have as well been introduced naturally by birds sooner or later (if they wouldnt be extinct in most european regions), besides humans are also part of the ecosystem.

In fact, the second location in Zürich could as well have been populated naturally, because i havent read about any artificial transplantations for that place, only for other places.

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In the whole of Europe, including the European part of Russia there are less then 40 locations left where Aldrovanda is found. And only a few of them in Western Europe. In Poland there are arround 10 places, in Romania 1 and Hungary also 1 place with Aldrovanda.

About 150 years ago there where arround 150 locations known.

About Aldrovanda in Holland, they have tried to erradicate it from Nieuwkoop, but did not succed in that. Well their waterquality is to damne good to get rid of it!

Crazy Dutch country I live in...

Alexander

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The over use of fertilizers is only part of the problem that Aldrovanda face, the over use of herbicides and pesticides also have a role in the diminishing populations in Europe and Japan, along with habitat destruction; like almost anything else with these plants, it's not just one simple answer, but a complex combination of things. - Rich

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Well here in The Netherlands in naturereserves its mostely to much nitrates and other runoff from farmland in protected areas wich does the most harm. But pesticides you could include as well, well all what comes from modern intesive farming is usely not good for nature!

But I guess with Aldrovanda eutrofication is the most likely cause. Also we had in the recent past a lot of problems of intensive pig and cattlefarming. The animal dung was just spread on the surrounding fields to grow corn for the pigs. Well this resulted in high concentrations of amoniac in the air and with the rain it got on the land again. Well this is good for plants like stinging nettles (Urtica dioica) but for plants wich need an olgotrofic habitad its a deathsentence.

Alexander

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About how they think about which plants are native in our country and which are not. On www.waarneming.nl I looked if there was something to find of the presence of Sarracenia in the Netherlands in a bogland. Well Sarracenia purpurea is found at one site near Amsterdam and regarded as being native. Aldrovanda from Poland at Nieuwkoop however is regarded as an unwanted exotic species!

How crazy it can get here...

Cheers,

Alexander

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Just visited the second site of Aldrovanda vesiculosa, and will soon visit a possible third site that i recently heard of, to see if the plants have survived there.

This site seems quite unaffected by human activities, which is a good thing.

This is an overview of the pond. Actually the location consists of a few ponds linked together, the smaller/shallower ones are usually better populated

img1847i.jpg

And here, to demonstrate how healthy the population is. These aquatic plants really multiply very fast when the conditions are right

img1829m.jpg

Im not sure yet about the reputed "low nutritiens" of the Aldrovanda ponds, since this species grows happily next to water lilies, which i thought prefers a lot of nutrients. You can actually also see Utricularia australis in this picture. The southern bladderworts are much rarer in that Aldrovanda-filled pond.

img1842r.jpg

There was a small shaded ditch nearby, which was barely ankle deep, and thats where Utricularia australis thrived.

img1849pz.jpg

Carp, swimming in the Aldrovanda pond

img1813a.jpg

I also visited a site which is home to the rather rare Utricularia bremii

img1904s.jpg

I expected the plants to grow sympatrically with U. australis in some muddy pools, but that was not the case. The few plants grew in a few cm deep water amongst other aquatic plants that root and grow underwater. Im not good at aquatic plants i admit. They look like Elodea, with more forked leaves, almost like feathers. But if you look at the (bad) picture, you maybe can see how it is rather unusual to me, for an Utricularia site, these are no bladderworts though, eventhough they resemble Utricularia intermedia if you just have a quick look.

img1909w.jpg

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I have observed the same things in my Aldrovanda ponds in that the Utrics seem to find themselves in different niches and different locations than the Aldrovanda, with the exception of U. intermedia where they seem to coexist quite peacefully.

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The few plants grew in a few cm deep water amongst other aquatic plants that root and grow underwater. Im not good at aquatic plants i admit. They look like Elodea, with more forked leaves, almost like feathers.

I think the plants are Myriophyllum spicatum

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Very nice, these are very healthy populations. Have you test the pH of water?

Regards

Aymeric

No, but actually a good idea!

I think the plants are Myriophyllum spicatum

Hm, yes that could be the plant im looking for. Apparently they grow in eutrophic waters, interesting fact that the carnivorous bladderwarts also grow within these waters.

Anyways, after a series of pictures of the floating parts of the plants, i can now offer something more beautiful: Utricularia flowers!

I found this single flower in a location that is supposed to be home of U. minor and U. bremii. So the question is, which plant is it? If you have any non-micromorpholigical (in other words, something that doesnt involve looking at quadrifids or similar structures with the microscope) identification keys, i would greatly appreciate it.

Picture from the front

utriculariaminorfront.jpg

Picture from the side

utriculariaminorside.jpg

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I was recently asked which Aldrovanda I have. I really don't have a clue. Can you tell from this photo which type I have and/or where it comes from?

Picture005-14.jpg

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I could be the Polish strain, or it could be one of the two Japanese strains, or, it could be any one of the European green forms, as they all seem to be indistinguishable from each other. You might want to ask the person you got it from where it originated. ;)

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...if I can find him again...

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Life is easier with a polarizing filter, if your goal is to take pictures of aquatic plants (im still struggling though).

So here another location with U. australis and U. minor.

This "filthy" mat on the surface of the water is actually U. australis, and as you can see, it covers almost the whole pond

mg1992.jpg

Close up on U. australis flower

mg20382.jpg

The only U. minor flower i saw, eventhough the border is well populated. Its a shot from behind

mg20012.jpg

More "artistic" than "documentary style picture

mg2040.jpg

This is a shot from another place, ankle deep ditches were populated with U. minor, while this little ditch was home to U. vulgaris. Its a rare plant around here, and likely one of the only locations in Zürich

img2057bm.jpg

View from above to get an idea how big the plants were. I found them quite robust looking and big in size

img2064d.jpg

Closer view, unfortunately no flower but one plant was forming a flower stalk, i was a tad bit too early

img2078d.jpg

On a side note, i revisited the D. anglica location near my home. Unfortunately no plants show unusual growth, like in D. anglica var. pusilla.

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Hello Kevin,

A very late reply to your photos posted in July. The flower is clearly showing U. bremii.

In U. minor, the lower lip is much longer than wide, and the lateral margins are usually reflexed downwards. And almost circular, spreading lower corolla lip is a good diagnostic feature to recognize the rare U. bremii in flower.

And looking at all the past postings in this forum, I get the idea that U. bremii actually might not be that rare in Europe as it once was thought to be. Well, it's critically endangered in Germany (as only known from a single extant site), but many of you keep discovering that plant elsewhere recently! Any new location of U. bremii is good news!

Thanks for sharing your photos,

Andreas

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This year i also visited a few CP-spots in Zürich, although not always with a camera, especially the ones i merely revisited, but i also visited a few new ones.

I revisited the U. intermedia station (which also has U. australis, U. minor and U. bremii) and to my joy, had a few blooming U. intermedia, which i photographed with my handphone. And if you remember me saying there was only a little spot with roughly 70 D. intermedia, i stand corrected: The population is much larger (a few hundreds), but they are seperated and it seems i overlooked the bigger population. Still no D. x beleziana, though!

Due to the lack of rain this spring, various ditches are drying out (thank god its raining right now), its quite a frightening sight, actually. Many D. intermedia look dried out, but i can also say, it has some interesting aspects to it too! In that said station i have seen a few U. intermedia, many U. minor, and some U. bremii plants all in bloom.

Inspired to make a few Utricularia flower pictures, i revisited the first Aldrovanda sight i showed you, which i now can confirm, has A. vesiculosa, U. australis, U. minor and U. bremii.

I do not know, if it has ever been recorded before, but unless i am mistaken with my IDing, this picture documents U. bremii (in the middle but slightly to the left) and U. minor (in the middle to the right, and also in the bottom right corner) growing sympatrically!

mg2585baz.jpg

U. minor flowers, its one branched flower stalk bearing 3 open flowers, and some unopened ones

mg2559x.jpg

Sorry for the bad quality, but this is yet another U. minor flower. I photographed this flower to document a pale flower form. I also think that the pale tone is more visible in real. Im not quite certain what causes this, the first thing that came into my mind, was the flowers age, meaning the flower is wilting and therefore losing colour. But when i pulled at the petals, they didnt drop, as i would have expected from a wilting flower, so im still uncertain...

mg2563.jpg

As you can see, the ditches and pools are short on water, this induces bloom on at least U. bremii and U. minor, and im also quite sure on U. stygia and U. intermedia too!

mg2596.jpg

U. bremii

mg2604p.jpg

Isnt this tiny little guy cute?

img2579uw.jpg

Oh, and question to you Utricularia experts:

Does U. vulgaris sometimes have a brown, slightly reddish colour? I have never read anything about this, but i was quite sure, thats what i saw in the revisited U. vulgaris station (again, no camera there, sorry).

Also, not in situ, but still dont miss the U. stygia flower i posted in this thread!

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Yes, U. vulgaris gets very red here in the USA, sometimes even dark puple-black! They are also found in deeper ponds, with a cool and slow moving streem running through.

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