Physical Setting
Climate
Adaptations
Tucson Plants
Tucson Animals
External Resources
Physical Setting
Climate
Adaptations
Tucson Plants
Tucson Animals
External Resources
Background: | plant terms | flowering plant life cycle | types of photosynthesis | Tucson Mt. plants | plant list | thumbnails by color |


TYPES OF PHOTOSYNTHESIS

This page introduces you to photosynthesis and explains the three types of photosynthesis and their relevance for desert adaptation.

Concepts:

The three types of photosynthesis are C3, C4, and CAM. C3 photosynthesis is the typical photosynthesis tha most plants use and that everyone learns about in school (it was all we knew about until a few decades ago). C4 and CAM photosynthesis are both adaptations to arid conditions because they result in better water use efficiency. In addition, CAM plants can "idle," saving precious energy and water during harsh times, and C4 plants can photosynthesize faster under the desert's high heat and light conditions than C3 plants because they use an extra biochemical pathway and special anatomy to reduce photorespiration. Below are the details.

velvet mesquiteC3 Photosynthesis : C3 plants.

fourwing saltbushC4 Photosynthesis : C4 plants.

saguaroCAM Photosynthesis : CAM plants. CAM stands for Crassulacean Acid Metabolism


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