, Volume 52, Issue 2, pp 253–261 | Cite as

Effect of soil water availability on photosynthesis in Ziziphus jujuba var. spinosus in a sand habitat formed from seashells: Comparison of four models

  • J. B. Xia
  • G. C. Zhang
  • R. R. Wang
  • S. Y. Zhang
Open Access


The photosynthetic and chlorophyll fluorescence parameters were studied in Ziziphus jujuba var. spinosus under different soil water gradients obtained by irrigation and natural water consumption. We used the rectangular hyperbola model, the nonrectangular hyperbola model, the exponential model, and the modified rectangular hyperbola model to fit our data and evaluate them quantitatively. Based on the relationship among the parameters, the effects of the availability of soil water on photosynthesis were elucidated. The results showed that: (1) The relationship between water content and photosynthetic parameters were fitted best by the modified rectangular hyperbola model, followed by the nonrectangular hyperbola model, the exponential model, and the rectangular hyperbola model. The modified rectangular hyperbola model fitted best the maximum net photosynthetic rate (P Nmax) and the light-saturation point (LSP), while the nonrectangular hyperbola model fitted best the dark respiration rate (R D), the apparent quantum yield (AQY), and the light-compensation point (LCP). (2) The main reason for the net photosynthetic rate (P N) decline was that it reached a stomatal limit when the soil relative water content (RWC) was greater than 25% and it reached a nonstomatal limit when the RWC was lesser than 25%. Under these conditions, the photosynthetic apparatus of Z. jujuba was irreversibly damaged. (3) P max, R D, AQY, and LSP increased first and then decreased, while LCP increased contrary to the RWC. The P N light-response parameters reached optimum when the RWC was 56–73%. (4) The quantum yield of PSII photochemistry reached a maximum when RWC was 80%. Nonphotochemical quenching decreased rapidly, and the minimum fluorescence in the dark-adapted state increased rapidly when RWC was lesser than 25%. Under these conditions, PSII was irreversibly damaged. (5) The RWC range of 11–25% resulted in low productivity and low water use efficiency (WUE). The RWC range of 25–56% resulted in moderate productivity and moderate WUE, and the RWC range of 56–80% resulted in high productivity and high WUE. The RWC range of 80–95% resulted in moderate productivity and low WUE. In summary, photosynthesis of Z. jujuba was physiologically adaptable in response to water stress in sand formed from seashells. The photosynthetic and physiological activity was maintained relatively high when the RWC was between 56 and 80%; Z. jujuba seedlings grew well under these conditions.

Additional key words

chlorophyll fluorescence, light-response model photosynthetic productivity relative water content. 



apparent quantum yield


intercellular CO2 concentration


transpiration rate


exponential model


field capacity


maximum fluorescence of the dark-adapted state


maximuml fluorescence yield


minimum fluorescence yield of the dark-adapted state


steady-state fluorescence


maximum quantum yield of PSII photochemistry


stomatal conductance


gravitational water content


light-compensation point


stomatal limiting value


light-saturation point


modified rectangular hyperbola model


nonphotochemical quenching


nonrectangular hyperbola model


maximum net photosynthetic rate


net photosynthetic rate


determination coefficient


dark respiration rate


relative error


rectangular hyperbola model


relative water content


water-use efficiency


effective quantum yield of PSII photochemistry


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Copyright information

© The Institute of Experimental Botany 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. B. Xia
    • 1
  • G. C. Zhang
    • 2
  • R. R. Wang
    • 2
  • S. Y. Zhang
    • 2
  1. 1.Shandong Provincial Key Laboratory of Eco-Environmental Science for Yellow River DeltaBinzhou UniversityBinzhouChina
  2. 2.Shandong Province Key Laboratory of Soil Erosion and Ecological Restoration, Key Laboratory of Agricultural Ecology and Environment, Forestry CollegeShandong Agricultural UniversityTaianChina

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