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Cladode development for Opuntia ficus-indica (Cactaceae) under current and doubled CO2 concentrations
American Journal of Botany (1994)
  • Gretchen North, Occidental College
  • T.L. Moore
  • P.S. Nobel
Morphological and anatomical changes for first-order daughter cladodes (flattened stem segments) of a prickly pear cactus, Opuntia ficus-indica, were monitored to determine the effects of a doubled atmospheric CO2 concentration on their development and mature form. For daughter cladodes developing in controlled environment chambers for 60 d, maximal elongation rates were similar under a photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD) of 6 mol m-2 d-1 and a CO2 concentration of 370 μl liter-1, an increased PPFD (10 mol m-2 d-1), and an increased PPFD and a doubled CO2 concentration. These maximal rates, however, occurred at 20, 15, and 12 d, respectively. The maximal relative growth rate under the doubled CO2 concentration was about twice that under the other conditions. For cladodes at 60 d as well as after 4 and 16 mo in open-top chambers, doubling the CO2 concentration had no effect on final length or width. At 4 mo, cladodes under doubled CO2 were 27% thicker, perhaps allowing the earlier production of second-order daughter cladodes. The chlorenchyma was then 31% thicker and composed of longer cells. At 16 mo, the difference in cladode thickness diminished, but the chlorenchyma remained thicker under doubled CO2, which may contribute to greater net CO2 uptake for O. ficus-indica under elevated CO2 concentrations. Two other persistent differences were a 20% lower stomatal frequency and a 30% thicker cuticle with more epicuticular wax for cladodes under doubled CO2, both of which may help reduce transpirational water loss.
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Citation Information
Gretchen North, T.L. Moore and P.S. Nobel. "Cladode development for Opuntia ficus-indica (Cactaceae) under current and doubled CO2 concentrations" American Journal of Botany Vol. 82 (1994)
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