Cacti can adapt to extremely arid and hot environments with adaptations that conserve water and improve heat radiation.

Cacti are distinctive and unusual plants which adapt to extremely arid and hot environments, demonstrating a wide range of anatomical and physiological features which conserve water and protect them from extreme heat. These adaptations let the plant collect water efficiently, store it for long periods of time, and conserve it (minimizing water loss from evaporation). Their spines create more surface area so that they can release heat and slow down rainwater flow. Nature has solved the heat problem by equipping many cacti with cooling ribs. Their ribs provide shade on the cactus’s surface against the scorching sun and improve heat radiation. Their heat-reflecting capacity is low, since their surface is greatly reduced so as to cut down on evaporation.
Application – building envelope innovation and construction that keeps buildings cool For example, the Minister of Municipal Affairs & Agriculture (MMAA) office building in Qatar designed by Bangkok-based Aesthetics Architects adapted for the hot, dry climate conditions.
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