oa Madoqua - Occurrence of C4 plants in the Central Namib Desert
|Article Title||Occurrence of C4 plants in the Central Namib Desert|
|© Publisher:||Namibian Ministry of Environment and Tourism|
|Affiliations||1 *Natural Isotopes Division, National Physical Research Laboratory, Pretoria 0001, South Africa. **Desert Ecological Research Unit, Gobabeb, Walvis Bay, South West Africa|
|Publication Date||Jan 1977|
|Pages||75 - 78|
|Keyword(s)||. Isotope ratio measurements, Acid metabolism (CAM), Angiosperms, Aridity, Aspartic acid, ChIoropIasts, Drought tolerant, Episodic showers, Inselberge, Mesaphyll cells, Natural habitat, Photosynthesize and Xerophytic niche|
A survey of the carbon isotope composition (13C/12C) of plants in the Central Namib Desert has been undertaken to ascertain the significance of the C-4 photosynthetic pathway to the desert flora. Using this criterion it is found that all the grasses and some sedges are of the C-4 type, while the majority of the other species are C-3. Of the latter group Trianthema, Salsola, Gisekia and Blepheris show the high 13C-content characteristic of ""Kranz"" or strong CAM plants. The C-4 pathway is thus an efficient, but by no means an obligatory adaptive condition for survival in a hot desert environment.
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