The impact of ozone fumigation and fertilization on chlorophyll fluorescence of birch leaves (Betula pendula)
The impact of ozone fumigation on chlorophyll a fluorescence parameters and chlorophyll content of birch trees grown at high and low fertilization were studied for 6-, 8-, and 12-week old leaves. Fluorescence parameters were measured with a portable fluorometer with its fibre optics tightly inserted in a gas exchange cuvette at light intensities from 0 to 220 µmol photons m−2 s−1. Ozone caused significant changes of primary photosynthetic reactions: a decrease of the quantum yield of photosystem II and an increase of non-photochemical quenching. In all leaves a biphasic light response of non-photochemical quenching was observed. Ozone fumigation shifted the onset of the second phase from a PFD of about 60 µmol m−2 s−1 to about 30 µmol m−2 s−1. While the fertilizer concentration had no influence on this character, high fertilization supply of plants partially reduced O3-induced damage. The light responses of Ft, Fm′ and NPQ observed in birch leaves grown in O3-free air indicate the existence of at least two different processes governing energy conversion of the photosynthetic apparatus at PS II in the range of PFD 0–200 µmol photons m−2 s−1. The first phase was attributed to a rather slowly relaxing type of non-photochemical quenching, which, at least at low PFD, is thought to be related to a state 1–2 transition. The further changes of the fluorescence parameters studied at higher PFD might be explained by an increase of energy-dependent quenching, connected with the energization of the thylakoid membrane and zeaxanthin synthesis. A major effect of ozone treatment was a lowering of PS II quantum yield. This reflects a reduction of PS II electron transport and corresponds to the reduction of CO2-fixation observed in ozonated leaves.
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