, Volume 19, Issue 5, pp 539–544 | Cite as

Effect of drought stress on chlorophyll a fluorescence and electrical admittance of shoots in Norway spruce seedlings

  • Paweł M. PukackiEmail author
  • Emilia Kamińska-Rożek
Original Article


Effects of mild and severe soil drought on the water status of needles, chlorophyll a fluorescence, shoot electrical admittance, and concentrations of photosynthetic pigments in needles of seedlings of Picea abies (L.) Karst. were examined under controlled greenhouse conditions. Drought stress reduced shoot admittance linearly with a decrease in shoot water potential (Ψw) and increase in water deficit (WD) and led to a decrease in concentrations of chlorophyll a, b and carotenoids. Severe water stress (shoot Ψw=−2.4 MPa) had a negative effect on chlorophyll a fluorescence parameters including PSII activity (Fv/Fm), and the vitality index (Rfd). Variations in these parameters suggest an inhibition of the photosynthetic electron transport in spruce needles. Water stress led to a decrease in the mobility of electrolytes in tissues, which was reflected by decreased shoot electrical admittance. After re-watering for 21 days the WD in needles decreased and the shoot water potential increased. In the re-watered plants, the chloroplast function was restored and chlorophyll a fluorescence returned to a similar level as in the control plants. This improved hydraulic adjustment in the seedlings triggered a positive effect on ion flow in the tissues and increased shoot electrical admittance. We conclude that the shoot electrical admittance and photosynthetic electron transport in leaves are closely linked to changes in water status and their decrease is among the initial responses of seedlings to water stress.


Chlorophyll fluorescence Drought tolerance Electrical admittance Picea abies Water stress 



We thank A. Olszewski and M. Jędrzejczak from Elmetron-Zabrze Co., Poland, for making the electrodes for measuring electrical admittance. This research was supported by the State Committee for Scientific Research of Poland.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Physiology of Abiotic Stress LaboratoryInstitute of Dendrology, Polish Academy of SciencesKórnikPoland

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