, 49:459 | Cite as

Photosynthetic properties of Quercus × hispanica Lam. and Q. suber L. under harsh Central European winter conditions

  • V. Holland
  • W. BrüggemannEmail author
Original Papers


In search for new forestation tree species for future Central European climate conditions, Mediterranean evergreen oak taxa are investigated for their summer drought- and winter frost-hardiness. Here we report on the winter performance of the photosynthetic apparatus of Quercus × hispanica Lam. and its evergreen parental species Q. suber L. under extraordinary harsh winter conditions. Both taxa showed a strong decline of photosystem II (PSII) quantum efficiency (Fv/Fm) with a concomitant increase in the deepoxidation state (DES) of the xanthophyll pigments depending on (severe) frost events during winter, and these parameters significantly correlated with minimum air temperatures during periods of chronic photoinhibition at mid-winter, but not at the onset of winter in response to the first frost nights. Fv/Fm and DES correlated with each other in both taxa throughout the winter.

Additional key words

evergreen frost stress oak photoinhibition xanthophyll cycle 





cumulative frost- and light stress index of 5 preceding days


deepoxidation state


minimal fluorescence of the dark-adapted state


maximal fluorescence of the dark-adapted state


variable fluorescence


photosytem II


energy-dependent chlorophyll fluorescence quenching


minimum temperature







Thanks are due to the Palmengarten of the City of Frankfurt (Dr. C. Bayer) for giving access to the Quercus specimens. This research was partly funded by the LOEWE programme of the State of Hesse through the Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre, Frankfurt.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre FrankfurtFrankfurtGermany
  2. 2.Department of Ecology, Evolution and DiversityGoethe-University FrankfurtFrankfurtGermany

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