, Volume 52, Issue 2, pp 272–280 | Cite as

Light induction of nonphotochemical quenching, CO2 fixation, and photoinhibition in woody and fern species adapted to different light regimes

  • S. -L. Wong
  • M. -Y. Huang
  • C. -W. Chen
  • J. -H. Weng


We aimed to find out relations among nonphotochemical quenching (NPQ), gross photosynthetic rate (PG), and photoinhibition during photosynthetic light induction in three woody species (one pioneer tree and two understory shrubs) and four ferns adapted to different light regimes. Pot-grown plants received 100% and/or 10% sunlight according to their light-adaptation capabilities. After at least four months of light acclimation, CO2 exchange and chlorophyll fluorescence were measured simultaneously in the laboratory. We found that during light induction the formation and relaxation of the transient NPQ was closely related to light intensity, light-adaption capability of species, and PG. NPQ with all treatments increased rapidly within the first 1–2 min of the light induction. Thereafter, only species with high PG and electron transport rate (ETR), i.e., one pioneer tree and one mild shade-adapted fern, showed NPQ relaxing rapidly to a low steady-state level within 6–8 min under PPFD of 100 μmol(photon) m−2 s−1 and ambient CO2 concentration. Leaves with low PGand ETR, regardless of species characteristics or inhibition by low CO2 concentration, showed slow or none NPQ relaxation up to 20 min after the start of low light induction. In contrast, NPQ increased slowly to a steady state (one pioneer tree) or it did not reach the steady state (the others) from 2 to 30 min under PPFD of 2,000 μmol m−2 s−1. Under high excess of light energy, species adapted to or plants acclimated to high light exhibited high NPQ at the initial 1 or 2 min, and showed low photoinhibition after 30 min of light induction. The value of fastest-developing NPQ can be quickly and easily obtained and might be useful for physiological studies.

Additional key words

light adaptation NPQ photoinhibition photosynthetic induction photosynthetic rate 



electron transport rate


potential quantum efficiency of PSII


relative value of potential quantum efficiency of PSII in leaves exposed to 2,000 μmol m−2 s−1 PPFD for 30 min


high light (2,000 μmol m−2 s−1 PPFD)


low light (100 μmol m−2 s−1 PPFD)


nonphotochemical quenching

NPQ1minLL and NPQ1minCF

NPQ in leaves exposed to 100 μmol m−2 s−1 PPFD under ambient CO2 and 0 inlet CO2 concentration for 1 min, respectively

NPQ1minHL and NPQ2minHL

NPQ in leaves exposed to 2,000 μmol m−2 s−1 PPFD and ambient CO2 concentration for 1 min and 2 min, respectively


NPQ in leaves exposed to 2,000 μmol m−2 s−1 PPFD for 30 min, then darkness for 30 min


gross photosynthetic rate


photosynthetic photon flux density


xanthophyll cycle-dependent energy quenching


photoinhibitory quenching


state-transition quenching


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Copyright information

© The Institute of Experimental Botany 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. -L. Wong
    • 1
  • M. -Y. Huang
    • 2
  • C. -W. Chen
    • 1
  • J. -H. Weng
    • 3
  1. 1.Division of BotanyEndemic Species Research InstituteChichi, NantouTaiwan
  2. 2.Biodiversity Research CenterAcademia SinicaTaipeiTaiwan
  3. 3.Graduate Institute of Ecology and Evolutionary BiologyChina Medical UniversityTaichungTaiwan

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