, Volume 102, Issue 4, pp 425–432

Determination of the quantum efficiency of photosystem II and of non-photochemical quenching of chlorophyll fluorescence in the field


  • Wolfgang Bilger
    • Julius-von-Sachs-Institut für Biowissenschaften der Universität Würzburg
  • Ulrich Schreiber
    • Julius-von-Sachs-Institut für Biowissenschaften der Universität Würzburg
  • Michael Bock
    • Julius-von-Sachs-Institut für Biowissenschaften der Universität Würzburg
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/BF00341354

Cite this article as:
Bilger, W., Schreiber, U. & Bock, M. Oecologia (1995) 102: 425. doi:10.1007/BF00341354


A newly developed portable chlorophyll fluorometer in combination with a special leaf clip holder was used for assessing photosynthetic activity of attached sun leaves of Fagus sylvatica and Cucurbita pepo under field conditions. During diurnal time courses, fluorescence yield, photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD) incident on the leaf plane, and leaf temperature were measured and quantum efficiency of photosystem II (PS II), apparent relative electron transport rates, and non-photochemical fluorescence quenching (NPQ) calculated. In both species, quantum efficiency followed closely the incident PPFD and no hysteresis could be observed during the day. Apparent electron transport rate showed light saturation above a PPFD of 700 μmol m−2 s−1 in F. sylvatica, while in C. pepo no saturation was visible up to 1400 μmol m−2 s−1. NPQ was closely correlated to excessive PPFD calculated from the PS II quantum yield. Maximal NPQ observed was 3.3 Although the beech leaf was exposed for a considerable time to PPFD values of 1400–1500 μmol m−2 s−1 and leaf temperatures between 30 and 35°C, no obvious signs for sustained photodamage could be observed. The data demonstrate the potential of chlorophyll fluorescence measurements to analyse photosynthetic performance under field conditions with minimal disturbance of the plant. Potential error sources due to the geometry of the leaf clip holder used are discussed.

Key words

PhotosynthesisPS II quantum yieldChlorophyll fluorescenceFagus sylvatica
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© Springer-Verlag 1995