Daily and seasonal variations of optimum quantum yield and phenolic compounds in Cystoseira tamariscifolia (Phaeophyta)
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Effects of solar radiation on phenolic compound concentrations and photosynthetic activity, estimated as in vivo chlorophyll fluorescence, in the brown alga Cystoseira tamariscifolia (Hudson) Papenfuss were analyzed in southern Spain from June 1988 to July 2000. Annual and diurnal variations of optimum quantum yield were negatively correlated with incident irradiance. Optimum quantum yield decreased as irradiance increased at noon, and yield values recovered in the afternoon suggesting a dynamic photoinhibition. The annual and daily fluctuations of phenolic compound concentration in the tissue of C. tamariscifolia showed contrasting patterns. There was an annual cycle of phenolic compound concentration in the apical thallus, which was positively correlated with incident irradiance. The increase in phenolic compounds, however, was twofold greater in the first half of the year than the decrease during the second half of the year. In contrast to the annual cycle, there appeared to be a negative correlation between phenolic compound concentration and irradiance in the summer months while no specific relationship was observed in the fall–winter months. Loss of phenolic compounds from the tissue to the surrounding water was increased as irradiation dosage increased. This suggests that the decrease of phenolic compounds during the diurnal cycle might be regulated by the exudation of these compounds at high irradiances in the field. Collectively, our results suggest that, like dynamic photoinhibition, the rapid synthesis and turnover time of phenolic compounds in the tissue of C. tamariscifolia might serve as photoprotective mechanisms against high irradiances.
KeywordsPhenolic Compound Photosynthetically Active Radiation High Irradiance Brown Seaweed Irradiance Level
The authors thank the Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia, Spain (CICYT AGL-2001-1888-C03-02) and Junta de Andalucía (Research group RNM-295) for financial support. Roberto Abdala-Díaz thanks AECI (Spain) and Alejandro Cabello-Pasini thanks the Spanish Ministry of Education and Science (SAB-2002-0209) for grants received. The authors are grateful for the use of the facilities of the Delegación Provincial (Consejería de Medio Ambiente, Junta de Andalucía) in the Natural Park “Cabo de Gata–Níjar”.
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