, Volume 34, Issue 2, pp 225–237

Seasonal shift from C3 photosynthesis to Crassulacean Acid Metabolism in Mesembryanthemum crystallinum growing in its natural environment


  • Klaus Winter
    • Institut für Botanik der Technischen Hochschule
  • Ulrich Lüttge
    • Institut für Botanik der Technischen Hochschule
  • Erika Winter
    • Institut für Botanik der Technischen Hochschule
  • John H. Troughton
    • Physics and Engineering LaboratoryDepartment of Scientific and Industrial Research

DOI: 10.1007/BF00345168

Cite this article as:
Winter, K., Lüttge, U., Winter, E. et al. Oecologia (1978) 34: 225. doi:10.1007/BF00345168


Changes in δ13C value, diurnal malate content, water content and Na+, K+ and Cl- content of the annual Mesembryanthemum crystallinum (Aizoaceae) were followed in a natural population on a coastal cliff at the Mediterranean Sea shore close to Caesarea (Israel). Plants germinated in the middle of the rainy season in December 1976/January 1977. Diurnal malate fluctuations in the leaves were not detected until the end of March. Later on, at the start of the dry season, pronounced diurnal changes in malate developed. This was correlated with a progressive change in δ 13C value from about -26‰ to about -16‰ which is consistent with a change from normal C3 photosynthetic CO2 fixation to a predominantly nocturnal CO2 assimilation pattern involving Crassulacean Acid Metabolism.



Crassulacean Acid Metabolism


fresh weight


dry weight

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1978