, Volume 75, Issue 4, pp 567–574 | Cite as

Effects of high irradiances on photosynthesis, growth and crassulacean acid metabolism in the epiphyteKalanchoö uniflora

  • Christian Schäfer
  • Ulrich Lüttge
Original Papers


Kalanchoë uniflora was grown in the glasshouse with and without shading. Chlorophyll content, area/FW ratio and specific leaf area were higher in leaves of shaded as compared to unshaded plants. Light saturation curves and continuous gas exchange measurements showed that the apparent quantum yield and the light-saturated photosynthetic rate were higher in shaded plants. Shaded plants had lower “mesophyll resistances” than unshaded plants, indicating that the different photosynthetic capacities reflected different contents of ribulose biphosphate carboxylase-oxygenase. Highlight treatment of plants grown in the shade resulted in a decreased photosynthetic efficiency, showing that these plants were sensitive to photoinhibition. However, dry matter production was higher in unshaded than in shaded plants. Obviously the difference in irradiance between the two growth regimes did more than offset the differences in photosynthetic efficiency. Applying additional nutrients did not alter the effects of high PFDs. The results are discussed in respect to photosynthetic performence and plant distribution in the epiphytic habitat.

Key words

CAM-epiphyte Light acclimation Photoinhibition Growth 



crassulacean acid metabolism


dark period


dry weight


fresh weight


leaf conductance to diffusion of water vapour


high PFDs


plants grown under HL conditions


low PFDs


plants grown under LL conditions


light period; n, number of replicates


photon flux density (400–700 nm)


partial pressure of CO2 in the intercellular spaces


relative humidity


ribulose bisphosphate carboxylase-oxygenase

Δ malate

difference in malate between end of DP and end of LP


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christian Schäfer
    • 1
  • Ulrich Lüttge
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für BotanikTechnische HochschuleDarmstadtFederal Republic of Germany

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