Each summer, the giant saguaro cacti in deserts of the American Southwest produce tens of thousands of tiny black seeds apiece. Most die, but a few land in a sheltered spot and sprout the following spring. The saguaro is a CAM plant (Section 5.5) and it grows very slowly. After 15 years, a saguaro may be only knee high, and it will not flower until it is about age 30. The cactus may survive to age 200. Saguaros share their desert habitat with annuals such as poppies, which sprout just after the seasonal rains, produce seeds, and die in just a few weeks. How would you describe these two life history patterns? How could such different life histories both be adaptive in this environment?
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