Cacti: Biology and Uses

Cacti: Biology and Uses

Park S. Nobel

Language: English

Pages: 290

ISBN: 0520231570

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


The Cactaceae family, with about sixteen hundred species, is cultivated worldwide for fruits, forage, fodder, and even as a vegetable. Cacti are recognized for their attractive flowers, special stem shapes, and ability to tolerate drought. Because of their efficient use of water and other adaptations, biological and agronomic interest in cacti has soared. These fascinating plants also have much to teach us about biodiversity and conservation. Yet a current, synthetic, wide-ranging reference on cacti has not been available until now. This comprehensive book, compiled by a well-known cactus biologist, includes authoritative, up-to-date chapters by thirty-five contributors from around the world on topics ranging from evolution to biotechnology. It is the first book of its kind to compile information on cactus biology, ecology, and uses in one convenient place.

The first half of the book provides a thorough overview of cactus biology and morphology and discusses the environmental and conservation issues that affect the plants. It includes a discussion of the evolution of the family, paying particular attention to new genetic and molecular approaches. The second half of the book focuses on the practical concerns of cultivating cacti, such as pest control and diseases, horticultural and forage applications, and techniques for agronomy. Other chapters cover the different markets for cacti and products that are made from them.

This unique volume will be a reliable and informative reference for ecologists and environmentalists, agriculturists, plant biologists, and anyone seriously interested in these remarkable plants.

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septae, whereas in other species all or most of the fibers are septate, with a single septum of primary cell wall. Vessels in fibrous wood are generally wider and less frequent than in other types of wood (Table 2.2). The added strength of fibers may allow for larger vessels, thus increasing water movement per vessel because volume flux is dependent on the vessel radius raised to the fourth power (Nobel 1999). Parenchymatous wood has a matrix of unlignified parenchyma cells with thin primary cell

For Ferocactus acanthodes, the inner layers of the periderm (the phelloderm layers) of the parent root are continuous with the base of the lateral root, whereas the suberized layers of the periderm (the phellem layers) of the parent root are ruptured as the lateral root elongates (North et al. 1992). The initiation of lateral root primordia is apparently promoted by drought. For example, the number of second-order lateral root primordia for F. acanthodes is significantly greater for plants

environments, and are cultivated in more than 30 countries (Gibson and Nobel 1986; Nobel 1994). Almost endless possibilities exist for interesting environmental studies involving cacti. Literature Cited Adams, W. W., III, M. Diaz, and K. Winter. 1989. Diurnal changes in photochemical efficiency, the reduction state of Q, radiationless energy dissipation, and nonphotochemical fluorescence quenching in cacti exposed to natural sunlight in northern Venezuela. Oecologia 80: 553–561. Barcikowski, W.,

low-temperature acclimation for cactus species varying in freezing tolerance. Plant Physiology 104: 675–681. Griffiths, D. 1915. Yields of Native Prickly Pear in Southern Texas. Bulletin 208, United States Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C. Griffiths, H. 1989. Carbon dioxide concentrating mechanisms and the evolution of CAM in vascular epiphytes. In Vascular Plants as Epiphytes (U. Lüttge, ed.). Springer-Verlag, Berlin. Pp. 42–81. Gulmon, S. L., P. W. Rundel, and J. R. Ehleringer. 1979.

with the anthers, whereas outcross pollen is deposited on the upper surface of the stigma, as seen in a cultivar of O. ficus-indica (Fig. 5.1; Rosas and Pimienta 1986). Moreover, the fraction of the stigmatic surface in contact with the anthers is positively correlated with Reproductive Biology 79 the rate of autogamy for Opuntia (Trujillo and GonzálezEspinosa 1991). For Hylocereus undatus, the distance between the stigma and anthers is large, thus decreasing the probability of autogamy (Y.

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