Past climate changes and ecophysiological responses recorded in the isotope ratios of saguaro cactus spines

  title={Past climate changes and ecophysiological responses recorded in the isotope ratios of saguaro cactus spines},
  author={Nathan B English and David L. Dettman and Darren R. Sandquist and David G. Williams},
The stable isotope composition of spines produced serially from the apex of columnar cacti has the potential to be used as a record of changes in climate and physiology. To investigate this potential, we measured the δ18O, δ13C and F14C values of spines from a long-lived columnar cactus, saguaro (Carnegiea gigantea). To determine plant age, we collected spines at 11 different heights along one rib from the stem apex (3.77 m height) to the base of a naturally occurring saguaro. Fractions of… 
Giant cacti - isotopic recorders of climate variation in warm deserts of the Americas.
This work reviews the opportunities, challenges and pitfalls in measuring δ13C, δ2H and δ18O ratios captured in spine tissues and describes how the analysis of all three isotopes can be used in combination to provide potentially robust analysis of photosynthetic function in cacti, and other succulent-stemmed taxa across broad spatio-temporal environmental gradients.
Daily to Decadal Patterns of Precipitation, Humidity, and Photosynthetic Physiology Recorded in the Spines of the Columnar Cactus, Carnegiea Gigantea
It is suggested that either VPD-induced changes in the balance of nighttime- and daytime-assimilated CO2 or mesophyll-limited diffusion of CO2 at night are the most likely determinant of δ13C variation in spines.
Stable Isotopes in the Spines of Columnar Cactus: a New Proxy for Climate and Ecophysiological Research
There are relatively few annually resolved climate proxies in arid and semi-arid regions. Columnar cactuses are common in these regions and the stable isotopes of carbon and oxygen in durable spines
On the Age and Growth Rate of Giant Cacti: Radiocarbon Dating of the Spines of Cardon (Pachycereus Pringlei)
Abstract Age estimation has been a limiting factor in the study of giant columnar cacti. In order to test the feasibility of using radiocarbon methods to estimate the age of the giant cardon cacti
Functional trade-offs in succulent stems predict responses to climate change in columnar cacti.
It is proposed that variation in photosynthetic gas exchange, growth, and response to stress is highly constrained by stem V:S, establishing a mechanistic framework for understanding the sensitivity of columnar cacti to climate change and drought.
Abstract Over the last eight years, we have developed several paleoenvironmental records from a broad geographic region spanning the Altiplano in Bolivia (18°S–22°S) and continuing south along the
Stable isotope physiology of stem succulents across a broad range of volume-to-surface area ratio
Examination of intrinsic physiological tradeoffs across diverse stem morphologies in three divergent evolutionary groups where stem succulence is common suggests that physiological tradeoff associated with stem V:S are detectable across broad evolutionary groups despite differences in CAM strength.
A δ15N assessment of nitrogen deposition for the endangered epiphytic orchid Laelia speciosa from a city and an oak forest in Mexico
Isotopic analysis and the C:N ratio for L. speciosa revealed that rates of nitrogen deposition were higher in the city than in the forest, and values of series of pseudobulbs showed that it is possible to track nitrogen deposition over multiple years.


Climatic Controls of Saguaro (Carnegiea Gigantea) Regeneration: A Potential Link With El Niño
Saguaro cacti establish periodically in cohorts during years that are climatically favorable. Determining the establishment year is complicated by age-height relationships that vary considerably from
Stable isotopes in tree rings.
Ecophysiology of the saguaro cactus (Carnegiea gigantea) in the Saguaro National Monument: relationship to symptoms of decline
It is suggested that browning symptoms on cacti are most likely due to natural abiotic stress, and are unrelated to systemic pollution stress or increased UV-B radiation.
An 85-year study of saguaro (Carnegiea gigantea) demography
A model for determining saguaro age was developed, using the growth rates of over 3000 plants from 1964 to 1970 and verified with 1993 data, which showed large, multi-decadal fluctuation in age structures.
Saguaro (Carnegiea gigantea, Cactaceae) age-height relationships and growth: the development of a general growth curve.
  • T. Drezner
  • Environmental Science
    American journal of botany
  • 2003
With this formula and relatively little field sampling, the age of any individual saguaro (whether the individual was sampled or not) in any population can be estimated.
Stable isotope ratios of carbon and nitrogen in natural populations of Drosophila species and their hosts
The results suggest that stable isotope analysis can be a valuable tool in studies of resource ecology and feeding habitats in Drosophila, and is sensitive enough to detect recent feeding history.
Short-term changes in carbon-isotope discrimination identify transitions between C3 and C4 carboxylation during Crassulacean acid metabolism
The results from this non-invasive technique confirm the observations that “double carboxylation” involving both phosphoenolpyruvate carboxyase and Rubisco occurs during the transient phases of CAM (II and IV) in the light period.
Environmental and physiological controls over oxygen and carbon isotope composition of Tasmanian blue gum, Eucalyptus globulus.
A non-steady-state model of leaf water 18O enrichment accurately predicted observed values through a full diel cycle and provided insights into post-photosynthetic variations in dry matter delta13C.
How Closely Do the δ13C Values of Crassulacean Acid Metabolism Plants Reflect the Proportion of CO2 Fixed during Day and Night?1
Extrapolation of the observations to plants previously surveyed under natural conditions suggests that the most commonly expressed version of CAM in the field, “the typical CAM plant,” involves plants that gain about 71% to 77% of their carbon by dark fixation, and that the isotopic signals of plants that obtain one-third or less of theircarbon in the dark may be confused with C3 plants when identified on the basis of carbon isotope content alone.
A test of the relationship between seasonal rainfall and saguaro cacti branching patterns
Reproductive output, as well as photosynthetically active radiation interception and CO 2 uptake, increase as saguaro cacti Carnegiea gigantea (Engelm.) Britt. and Rose branch, and branching