Photosynthesis in CAM plants

CAM, or Crassulacean acid metabolism, is a form of photosynthesis that occurs in about 7% of plants, mostly succulents. CAM plants absorb carbon dioxide at night and store it for use during the day. Therefore, they don’t need to open their pores and absorb CO2 during the day, when it’s hot, and can conserve water.

This paper examines the way in which cellular packing within leaves affects CAM photosynthesis: Functional constraints of CAM leaf anatomy: tight cell packing is associated with increased CAM function across a gradient of CAM expression by Elizabeth A. Nelson.

Journal of Experimental Biology


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