Friday, 19 April 2013

Hone your plant metabolism knowledge and Infrared Skills

Case note: Cactus plants are abundant here on Galapagos. Go back to your first year botany and see if you can explain why the cactus temperature is higher than other nearby plants.

Sorry, I cut the top off on the thermal image above. Hint: it should have something to do with Crassulacean (spelling? I have no spell check here!) Acid Metabolism.


  1. My thinking is that the stomata remain closed during the day to prevent water-loss through evapotranspiration. This process would prevent the plant from undergoing evaporative cooling, which explains the higher plant temperatures. I guess this means the plant also undergoes CO2 uptake at night rather than during the day.

  2. Yep. Warmer compared to the other non succulent plants which are cooler than air temperature due to evapotranspiration. Actually, I was away from my plant physiology texts when I posted that, but that was sort of the point I was hoping to make.