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Structure-Function Relations of Warm Desert Plants
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For centuries biologists have been extremely interested in the structure of desert plants as examples of natural selection to harsh environmental conditions. Indeed, desert plants are frequently used as examples in many biology classes and textbooks to illustrate natural selection, but this has led to an unfortunate litany of errors and misconceptions about desert plant adaptations. This new synthesis focuses on plants of lowland tropical and subtropical arid deserts. Readers will be surprised to discover that many features commonly ascribed to desert plants are rareley observed in the most common species. Instead, the typical structural adaptations of nonsucculent warm desert plants are now viewed as ways to maximize photosynthetic rate.
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Table of Contents

1 Plant Life Forms of Warm Desert Climates.- 1.1 Distribution and Climates of Warm Deserts.- 1.2 Physiological Problems for Plants.- 1.2.1 Water and Heat Stress.- 1.2.2 Soil Characters.- 1.2.3 Wind and Flash-Flood Damage.- 1.3 Conceptual Models for Desert Plant Adaptations.- 1.3.1 Xerophyte and Similar Terms.- 1.3.2 Stress Resistance.- 1.3.3 Carbon Gain Models.- 1.4 Plants of Warm Deserts.- 1.4.1 Floras and Endemism.- 1.4.2 Primary Vegetation Types.- 1.4.3 Life Forms.- 1.4.3.1 Shrubs and Subshrubs with Drought-Deciduous Leaves.- 1.4.3.2 Evergreen Shrubs.- 1.4.3.3 Phreatophytes.- 1.4.3.4 Perennial Grasses.- 1.4.3.5 Ephemerals.- 1.4.3.6 Nonsucculent Aphyllous Shrubs and Trees.- 1.4.3.7 Stem and Leaf Succulents.- 1.4.3.8 Poikilohydric Cryptogams.- 1.4.3.9 Epiphytes and Mat-Forming Air Plants.- 1.4.3.10 Stem Mistletoes.- 2 Functional Morphology of Nonsucculent Leaves.- 2.1 Energy Balance of a Leaf.- 2.1.1 Absorptance as Influenced by Organ Orientation and Reflectance.- 2.1.2 Effects of Leaf Size and Form.- 2.1.3 Energy Storageand Metabolic Heat Production.- 2.2 Leaf Size.- 2.2.1 Microphylly.- 2.2.2 Broad Desert Leaves.- 2.2.3 Seasonal Heteroblasty.- 2.3 Encelia as a Model System.- 2.4 Structural Nature of Surface Reflectance.- 2.5 Leaf Orientation and Display.- 2.6 Leaf Rolling and Revolute Margins.- 3 Functional Morphology of Nonsucculent Leaves.- 3.1 Gas Diffusion Pathway.- 3.1.1 Water Vapor.- 3.1.2 Carbon Dioxide.- 3.1.3 Flux Density of Gases.- 3.1.4 Characteristics of Leaf Conductances.- 3.1.4.1 Leaf Boundary Layer Characteristics.- 3.1.4.2 Cuticle and Groundmass Epidermis.- 3.1.4.3 Stomata.- 3.1.4.4 Intercelluar Air Spaces.- 3.1.4.5 Liquid-Phase Conduction of C02.- 3.1.5 Factors Limiting Photosynthetic Rates at Saturated Photon Flux Density.- 3.1.5.1 Relative Effects of Parameters.- 3.1.5.2 C4 Physiology and Elimination of Photorespiration.- 3.1.6 Water-Use Efficiency.- 3.2 Physiological Anatomy of Nonsucculent Leaves of Desert Plants.- 3.2.1 Deciduous and Evergreen Shrubs.- 3.2.1.1 Groundmass Epidermis and Trichomes.- 3.2.1.2 Stomata.- 3.2.1.3 Mesophylla.- 3.2.2 Phyllodineous Acacias.- 3.2.3 Woody Dicotyledons with C4 Photosynthesis.- 3.3 Phreatophytes.- 3.3.1 Desert Palms.- 3.3.2 Tropical Dicotyledonous Trees.- 3.3.3 Welwitschia mirabilis.- 3.3.4 Temperate Trees and Shrubs.- 3.3.5 Saltcedars and Casuarina.- 3.4 Herbaceous Species.- 3.4.1 Perennial and Annual Grasses.- 3.4.2 Herbaceous Dicotyledons.- 3.4.3 Geophytes.- 3.4.4 Desert Springs.- 3.5 Fruit Photosynthesis.- 4 Photosynthetic Stems of Nonsucculent Plants.- 4.1 Functional Morphology.- 4.1.1 Energy Budget Considerations.- 4.1.2 Canopy Architecture and Phenology.- 4.2 Anatomy of Woody Plants.- 4.2.1 Epidermis.- 4.2.1.1 Delay in Periderm Formation.- 4.2.1.2 Composition.- 4.2.1.3 Surface Coverings.- 4.2.1.4 Stomata.- 4.2.2 Hypodermis.- 4.2.3 Chlorenchyma and Associated Sclerenchyma.- 4.2.4 Leaf Anatomy.- 4.3 Special Cases.- 4.3.1 Bark Photosynthesis of Cercidium.- 4.3.2 C4 Chenopodiaceae and Calligonum.- 4.3.3 Herbaceous Species.- 4.3.3.1 Solid Stems and Grass Culms.- 4.3.3.2 Inflated Stems.- 5 Succulent Photosynthetic Organs.- 5.1 General Properties of Succulent Photosynthetic Organs.- 5.1.1 Water Content.- 5.1.2 High Volume-to-Surface Ratio.- 5.1.3 Crassulacean Acid Metabolism.- 5.1.4 Epidermal Water Vapor Conductances.- 5.1.5 Stomatal Patterns.- 5.1.6 Chlorenchyma.- 5.1.7 Succulent Hydrostats.- 5.2 Taxon-Specific Adaptations.- 5.2.1 Aloe.- 5.2.2 Agave and Yucca.- 5.2.3 Windowed Leaves.- 5.2.4 Epidermis of Aizoaceae.- 5.2.5 Areoles and Spines of Cacti.- 5.2.6 Euphorbiaceaewith CAM Stem Photosynthesis.- 5.2.7 Stapelieae.- 5.2.8 Leaves of Crassulaceae.- 5.2.9 Fouquieriaceae.- 5.2.10 Elephant Trees, Pachycauls, and Caudiciforms.- 5.2.11 Asteraceae.- 5.3 Fleshy Leaves.- 6 Special Topics in Water Relations.- 6.1 Xerohalophytes.- 6.1.1 Vesiculated Trichomes of Atriplex.- 6.1.2 Excreting Salt Glands.- 6.1.3 Halophytic Succulence.- 6.1.4 Nolana mollis and Other Atacaman Shrubs.- 6.1.5 Crystal Deposition in Shoots.- 6.2 Water Uptake.- 6.2.1 Vesiculated Trichomes of Atriplex.- 6.2.1.1 Morphology and Depth.- 6.2.1.2 Structural Responses to Drought and Rewetting.- 6.2.2 Leaves and Stems.- 6.2.2.1 Bromeliaceae.- 6.2.2.2 Selaginella lepidophylla and Other Poikilohydric Plants.- 6.2.2.3 Water-Absorbing Stem Epidermis.- 6.2.3 Parasitic Vascular Plants.- 6.2.3.1 Mistletoes.- 6.2.3.2 Root Parasites.- 6.3 Vascular Tissues.- 6.3.1 Veins in Leaves.- 6.3.2 Secondary Xylem.- 6.3.2.1 Shrubs and Subshrubs with Drought-Deciduous Leaves.- 6.3.2.2 Evergreen Shrubs.- 6.3.2.3 Phreatophytes.- 6.3.2.4 Nonsucculent Aphyllous Shrubs and Trees.- 6.3.2.5 Succulents.- 6.3.2.6 Herbaceous Angiosperms.- 6.3.3 Split Axis.- 6.3.4 Anomalous Secondary Thickening.- 6.3.5 Ground Tissues.- 7 Origins of Desert Structural Adaptations.- 7.1 Where Desert Adaptations Evolved.- 7.2 Warm Desert Versus Semiarid Habitats.- 7.2.1 Leaves.- 7.2.2 Wood.- 7.2.3 Ontogeny of Desert Shoots.- 7.3 Future Directions of Structure-Function Research.- References.- Taxonomic Index.

Reviews

"This book can be recommended to all researchers working on desert plants." Trends in Plant Sciences

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