Atmospheric Water Uptake by an Atacama Desert Shrub

Science  08 Aug 1980:
Vol. 209, Issue 4457, pp. 693-694
DOI: 10.1126/science.209.4457.693


Nolana mollis, a succulent-leaved shrub of the extreme coastal desert of Chile, has the capacity to condense water on its leaves out of unsaturated atmospheres, Metabolic energy would have to be expended to move this water either from the leaf surface directly to the mesophyll or, when dripped to the soil, from there into the roots. Because of the unusual aridity of its habitat and of the utilization of water-use-efficient metabolism by Nolana, at least during certain periods, such an energy expenditure could be effective.