crassulacean acid metabolism

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crassulacean acid metabolism

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crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM)

a method of PHOTOSYNTHESIS found in certain succulent plants (members of the family Crassulaceae) that live in hot, dry climates and close their stomata during the day to avoid excessive TRANSPIRATION losses and open them at night. During the night CO2 is taken in and stored as organic acids (e.g. malic acid); during the day the CO2 is released from the organic acids and used in the CALVIN CYCLE.
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Though the CAM pathway is usually associated with a succulent growth form, there are succulent plants such as halophytes that do not possess it, and some CAM species are more accurately described as semisucculents.
In addition, other nutrients are scarce in these infertile habitats, and the CAM pathway potentially could enhance nitrogen-use efficiency (Griffiths, 1989; Robe & Griffiths, 1994).
In the lacustrine habitat, the CAM pathway contributes about 50% of the total annual carbon gain, largely through the extension of the carbon assimilation period (Boston & Adams, 1986).