Agaves and cacti thrive under the higher temperatures, variable rainfall, and increased CO2 characteristic of global climate change. Moreover, their remarkable biomass productivity promises multitudinous new uses in addition to current uses ranging from tequila to delicious fruits to fodder consumed by animals worldwide. The book also discusses the water conserving ability of agaves and cacti based on nocturnal opening of stomata and hence nocturnal uptake of carbon dioxide, a photosynthetic pathway referred to as Crassulacean Acid Metabolism.
About the Topics
Although widely differing taxonomically, agaves and cacti are remarkably similar physiologically. Both conserve water and produce well in arid and semi-arid regions. Both can cope with climate change, including increasing atmospheric CO2 levels, increasing temperatures, and changing rainfall patterns. Indeed, they are ideal plants for the future-the best is yet to come!
About the Book
DESERT WISDOM/AGAVES and CACTI: CO2, Water, Climate Change delivers crucial scientific information on Crassulacean Acid Metabolism (Chapter 2), plant tolerances (Chapter 3), and crop improvements using an Environmental Productivity Index (Chapters 5 and 6). A reader can also focus on the uses of agaves and cacti (Chapter 1), climate change implications (Chapter 4), and bright ideas for coping with future climates (Chapter 7). Cross-referencing, a Glossary, and References for further reading enhance its utility for everyone.
About the Author
The world's leading authority on the environmental biology of agaves and cacti, Park S. Nobel has published more than 300 scientific articles and four other books on these plants: The Cactus Primer (with A.C. Gibson), Harvard University Press, 1986; Environmental Biology of Agaves and Cacti, Cambridge University Press, 1988; Remarkable Agaves and Cacti, Oxford University Press, 1994; and Cacti: Biology and Uses (as editor), University of California Press, 2002..