, Volume 53, Issue 2, pp 187–194 | Cite as

Photosynthetic response of beech seedlings of different origin to water deficit

  • E. Pšidová
  • Ľ. Ditmarová
  • G. Jamnická
  • D. Kurjak
  • J. Majerová
  • T. Czajkowski
  • A. Bolte
Original Papers


European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) seedlings of three different origins were used to evaluate the effect of water deficit and recovery during the most vulnerable phase of forest tree life. Gas-exchange characteristics and fluorescence rapid light curves were studied in the seedlings from a warm region (PV1, 530 m a.s.l.), seedlings from a moderately warm region (PV2, 625 m a.s.l.), optimal for beech, and in seedlings from a cool region (PV3; 1,250 m a.s.l.). Changes in photosynthetic characteristics caused by water deficit were similar, but their intensity was dependent on the origin of the seedlings. Simulation of drought conditions by the interruption of watering led to a decrease in the efficiency of primary photochemistry in PSII, with the most significant decrease in the PV2 seedlings. Conversely, water deficit affected most significantly gas exchange in PV3, where the recovery process was also the worst. The PV1 demonstrated the highest resistance to water deficit. Drought-adaptation of beech seedlings at non-native sites seems to be linked to water availability and to the origin of the beech seedlings.

Additional keywords

chlorophyll a fluorescence leaf water potential net photosynthetic rate photosynthesis stomatal conductance water-use efficiency, provenances, Fagus sylvatica 





drought stress


maximum fluorescence yield of a light-adapted leaf


maximum efficiency of open PSII reaction centre in the light


stomatal conductance


nonphotochemical quenching


net photosynthetic rate


warm region


moderately warm region


cool region


relative electron transport rate


primary quinone acceptor of PSII


coefficient of nonphotochemical quenching


coefficient of photochemical quenching




rapid light curve


intrinsic water-use efficiency (= P N/g s)


effective quantum yield of PSII under light


effective quantum yield of PSII


predawn leaf water potential


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Copyright information

© The Institute of Experimental Botany 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. Pšidová
    • 1
  • Ľ. Ditmarová
    • 1
  • G. Jamnická
    • 1
  • D. Kurjak
    • 2
    • 3
  • J. Majerová
    • 1
  • T. Czajkowski
    • 4
  • A. Bolte
    • 4
  1. 1.Institute of Forest EcologySlovak Academy of SciencesZvolenSlovak Republic
  2. 2.Faculty of ForestryTechnical University ZvolenZvolenSlovak Republic
  3. 3.Faculty of Forestry and Wood SciencesCzech University of Life Sciences PraguePrague 6Czech Republic
  4. 4.Thünen Institute of Forest EcosystemsEberswaldeGermany

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