D

E ,

j f m a m j j a s o n d month

Figure 4.4. Monthly variation in component indices, EPI, and production of new areoles by Ferocactus acanthodes in the northwestern Sonoran Desert: (A) Temperature Index, (B) Water Index, (C) PPF Index (including effects of clouds), (D) Environmental Productivity Index (see Eq. 4.1.), and (E) production of new areoles. Data for the areoles are from 33 plants examined monthly. Adapted from Nobel (1986).

reaches a peak in late summer (Fig. 4.4D), which coincides with the peak in monthly production of new areoles (Fig. 4.4E). The overriding importance of the Water Index is clearly evident in the seasonal pattern for EPI and areole production by this cactus in the Sonoran Desert.

Application of EPI to a Cultivated Platyopuntia

Besides relating growth to net CO2 uptake under natura conditions, EPI can also be used to predict how well a cul-

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