Light to liquid fuel: Theoretical and realized energy conversion efficiency of plants using Crassulacean Acid Metabolism (CAM) in arid conditions

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

There has been little attention paid to Crassulacean Acid Metabolism (CAM) as a mechanism for bioenergy crop tolerance to water limitation, in part, because potential yields of CAM plants have been assumed to be lower than those of most commonly studied bioenergy crops. The photochemical efficiency, water-use efficiency (WUE), biomass production, and fuel yield potentials of CAM, C3, and C4 plants that are considered or already in use for bioenergy are reviewed here. The theoretical photosynthetic efficiency of CAM plants can be similar to or greater than other photosynthetic pathways. In arid conditions, the greater WUE of CAM species results in theoretical biomass yield potentials that are 147% greater than C4 species. The realized yields of CAM plants are similar to the theoretical yields that account for water-limiting conditions. CAM plants can potentially be viable commercial bioenergy crops, but additional direct yield measurements from field trials of CAM species are still needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3471-3478
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of experimental botany
Volume65
Issue number13
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2014

Keywords

  • Agave
  • Bioenergy
  • Biofuel
  • Drought
  • Photochemical efficiency
  • Radiation use efficiency
  • Semi-arid
  • Sisal
  • Water use efficiency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Plant Science

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