The Effect of Temperature on the Trap Closure of Dionaea Muscipula (Venus Flytrap)


  • Jain D.
  • Julian S.


Carnivorous plants have evolved to consume prey items to compensate for the lack of
nutrients in their natural habitats. Most species reside in areas where soils are waterlogged and
slightly acidified due to fluctuating temperature conditions through the year (Ellison et al., 2008).
This makes it difficult to obtain vital nutrients needed for survival. D. muscipula is a species of
carnivorous plants that trap insects within its leaves using sensitive "trigger" hairs. After trapping
the insect, the leaf forms a seal around the insect to process the digestion. For our experiment,
we tested three different temperature conditions (0° C, 12° C, 25° C) to measure the speed of
trap closure in the Venus flytrap. The closing mechanism was recorded using a slow motion
camera and was analyzed over a video editing software to get the precise time it took the trap to
close under the given temperature. Previous findings have shown an upwards trend in time with
lowering temperatures (Volkov et al., 2008). Thus, we hypothesized that we would find a
difference in time it takes for the Venus flytrap to close its traps under different temperature
treatments, with the warmer temperature yielding the fastest closure and lowest temperature
yielding the slowest trap closure time. Using a one-way ANOVA test, the variation between the
three temperature treatments was found to be statistically significant (p-value < 0.01, alpha=
0.05). Our findings were consistent with the previous research and we rejected the null
hypothesis. The trap closure time was found to be the fastest in the warmer conditions, in our
case the 25°C treatment.