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By bananaman
Posts:  2059
Joined:  Sat Jan 01, 2011 2:54 am
So, a few years ago, I found some U. gibba (presumably) growing on the banks of an impoundment near the headwaters of the Guadalupe River. This struck me as a bit odd, as the Guadalupe River is fed by springs from a karst aquifer, which produces fairly hard, alkaline water. I’d thought that Utricularia grew only in acidic pools, but I never thought much more about it.

That is, until a couple weeks ago. I started a new job at a nursery, and we have some small ponds with fish, turtles, hornwort, water lilies, and U. gibba. I know that U. gibba is the only carnivore that is native to our county, but I always thought there might just be one or two more neutral water sources around here with it. I’m guessing the bladderwort got there on the foot of a bird — they’re certainly not the kind of thing the owner of the nursery would plant there (they just look like pond scum!)

But these ponds aren’t neutral, soft water. They’re somewhat hard (~180 ppm) and quite alkaline (pH is 8.2). And yet, they’re full of U. gibba. In some spots, it’s even shooting up some flower spikes!

I just find it interesting that it seems to grow in fairly hard, alkaline waters around here, despite aquatic bladderworts growing primarily in acidic, soft waters.

I wonder if this is just because it’s a really tolerant species or if our local ecotype has adjusted to the water around here. I guess I’ll see soon — I took a small sample and planted it as per Barry Rice’s reccomendations, which results in soft, acidic water. If this ecotype is adjusted to harder, alkaline water, I can’t imagine it’d do too well in that setup. I should probably make another setup using no peat and some dechlorinated tap water, which would come out to ~150 ppm and a pH of about 8.0-8.2, just to compare.

Has anyone else seen U. gibba or other bladderworts growing in alkaline waters?
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