Life Strategies of Succulents in Deserts: With Special Reference to the Namib Desert
Deserts provide a seemingly hostile environment in which plants can, nevertheless, survive and grow. This book, originally published in 1992, considers the ecological strategies adopted by desert succulents to overcome these problems. Much fresh data on the physiological ecology of succulent plants of southern Africa is presented - the results of more than ten years' work by the authors, both in the field and the laboratory. This information forms the basis for a better understanding of the water relations and carbon balance of succulents during short- and long-term drought and leads the authors to a definition of succulence as a tool for the temporary storage of water, essential for the conservation of physiological performance during times of drought. The authors conclude by providing a basic scheme in which the significant functional aspects of succulent life strategies are given, revealing the main trends in the biology of these fascinating plants.
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absorptivity Agave deserti air temperature all-cell succulent Aloe ambient air annual bergwind biomass boundary layer Brownanthus C02 budget C02 exchange C02 uptake C3 plants C3 succulents CAM plants CAM succulents carbon cell Ceraria Cheiridopsis chlorenchyma citric acid convective Crassula deciduous decrease drought dry matter dwarf shrubs energy flux energy input epidermis equation germination global radiation growth habitat hydathodes idioblasts increase leaf leaf conductance leaf succulent Lithops lower malic acid measured Mesembryanthemaceae Mesembryanthemum Namib desert night Numees Richtersveld occur osmotic potential Othonna partially succulent PEPC perennial period photorespiration photosynthesis Prenia sladeniana rain relative air humidity Richtersveld roots rubisco Ruschia seedbank seedlings seeds solar radiation southern Namib stem stomata strategy succulent leaves succulent type thermal radiation transpiration Tylecodon Tylecodon paniculatus utilizable biomass utilizable water values vegetation water content water loss water potential water storage tissue water uptake water vapour wavelength wax bloom Welwitschia Willert