Australia lacks stem succulents but is it depauperate in plants with crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM)?

Holtum, Joseph A.M., Hancock, Lillian P., Edwards, Erika J., Crisp, Michael D., Crayn, Darren M., Sage, Rowan, and Winter, Klaus (2016) Australia lacks stem succulents but is it depauperate in plants with crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM)? Current Opinion in Plant Biology, 31. pp. 109-117.

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Abstract

In the flora of Australia, the driest vegetated continent, crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM), the most water-use efficient form of photosynthesis, is documented in only 0.6% of native species. Most are epiphytes and only seven terrestrial. However, much of Australia is unsurveyed, and carbon isotope signature, commonly used to assess photosynthetic pathway diversity, does not distinguish between plants with low-levels of CAM and C3 plants. We provide the first census of CAM for the Australian flora and suggest that the real frequency of CAM in the flora is double that currently known, with the number of terrestrial CAM species probably 10-fold greater. Still unresolved is the question why the large stem-succulent life — form is absent from the native Australian flora even though exotic large cacti have successfully invaded and established in Australia.

Item ID: 44162
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1879-0356
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC), U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI)
Projects and Grants: ARC Discovery Project DP160100098, NSF DEB-1252901
Date Deposited: 27 Jul 2016 04:34
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0607 Plant Biology > 060705 Plant Physiology @ 90%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060203 Ecological Physiology @ 10%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960899 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity of Environments not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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