Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

In an ecophysiological field investigation of plant communities of vegetation islands of an alluvial plain in northern Venezuela the members of the Cactaceae, Pereskia guamacho, and a columnar ceroid cactus, Subpilosocereus ottonis, were studied. The alluvial plain was flooded by fresh water in the rainy season in November/December 1985 and was dry and saline in the dry season in March/April 1986. The highly succulent leaves of P. guamacho were shed in the dry season. They performed C3 photosynthesis in the wet season and did not show signs of considerable salt accumulation. P. guamacho avoids stress due to drought and salinity by leaf‐shedding. The columnar stem succulent ceroids are salt‐excluding plants with crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM). Rapid die back and regeneration of absorptive roots, water parenchyma and CAM, with the possibility of nocturnal stomatal closure and CO2 recycling, are traits of adaptive value under fluctuating conditions between rainy and dry seasons on the alluvial plain. Copyright © 1989, Wiley Blackwell. All rights reserved

Original publication




Journal article


New Phytologist

Publication Date





245 - 251