This chapter discusses gas exchange and other environmental responses of cacti. It focuses on net CO2 uptake and examines the influence of three key environmental factors—temperature, soil moisture, and solar irradiation absorbed by photosynthetic pigments, i.e., the photosynthetic photon flux (PPF)—on CO2 uptake by Opuntia ficus-indica. The response of net CO2 uptake by Opuntia ficus-indica to these three variables is important for predicting its productivity under any environmental condition and serves as a model for assessing the net CO2 uptake, and hence the potential biomass productivity, of other cacti.
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