What is the process of CAM photosynthesis using native plants as examples of the process in action?

1 Answer
Dec 8, 2016

CAM plants store CO2 overnight as crassulacean acid, stockpiling CO2 for use during the daytime.


nighttime represents the lowest evaporation rate in many dry climates, so CAM plants open their stomata to exchange gases at night in order to minimizewater loss. They close their stomata during the day and metabolize the stockpiled carbon reserve performing photosynthesis.

The specialized leaf tissues are detrimental in most climates, as their complexity requires a significant investment of energy and reduced rates of photosynthesis (ie. slow to grow, can't complete with C3). Only climates where water plays a significant limiting factor does the benefit of CAM outweigh to cost.