Carbon Dioxide Concentrating Mechanisms and the Evolution of CAM in Vascular Epiphytes

  • H. Griffiths
Part of the Ecological Studies book series (ECOLSTUD, volume 76)


Historically, research into the mechanism of photosynthesis has proceeded discontinuously: following the elucidation of the Calvin cycle, the C3 basis of photosynthesis seemed to have been resolved. However, several independent lines of research then led to the description of photosynthetic adaptations involving initial carboxylation products as C4 acids in C4 plants (Kortschak et al. 1965; Hatch and Slack 1966) and in the crassulacean acid metabolism of succulents (CAM: Ranson and Thomas 1960; Wolf 1960). Thus it was shown that a C4-acid pathway could spatially (C4 plants) and temporally (CAM) improve the efficiency of C3 carboxylation by reducing photorespiration, acting in effect as a C02 concentrating mechanism (Osmond et al. 1982; Osmond 1984, 1987).


Photosynthetically Active Radiation Malic Acid Crassulacean Acid Metabolism Plant Cell Environ Vascular Epiphyte 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. Griffiths
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyThe UniversityNewcastle upon TyneUK

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