What is Crassulacean acid metabolism?

Crassulacean acid metabolism sound like a very complicated term, but it is really just an adaptation for photosynthesis in arid conditions in order to conserve water supply. This adaptation allows Lophophora willamsii to live in an environments that would otherwise be impossible. It is also commonly referred to as simply CAM, which seems a little less intimidating. It is considered to be a two-step process with specific events occurring during the day and at night. During the night process, the stoma of the cactus are open and takes up Carbon dioxide and incorporates it into a variety of organic acids at night. During the day, the stoma remain closed and CO2 is released from organic acids. These are  to be used in the Calvin Cycle so that photosynthesis may occur. Another plants that has this same adaption is Aloe Vera.

Below is an image of this process.

Image of CAM from wiki commons

To learn how this species increases its population, continue to the reproduction page. If that does not interest you, return to the homepage and scout this site on your own.