Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 11, pp 10679–10687 | Cite as

Effects of cadmium on photosynthesis of Schima superba young plant detected by chlorophyll fluorescence

  • Jingjing Chu
  • Fan Zhu
  • Xiaoyong Chen
  • Huizi Liang
  • Renjie Wang
  • Xuxu Wang
  • Xinhao Huang
Research Article


Contamination by heavy metals has become a serious environmental pollution issue today due to its potential threat to plant, wildlife, and human health. Photosynthesis, a process in which light energy is used to produce sugar and other organic compounds, is sensitive to heavy metals. In the present study, the response of photosynthetic process and carbon assimilation of Schima superba was investigated under cadmium (Cd) stress. Three Cd concentrations (0, 300, and 600 mg kg−1) were used designated as control (CK), low Cd (L1), and high Cd treatment (L2) of plants. Results showed that photosystem II (PSII) acceptor and donor side electron transport were more easily blocked in treatment compared to control, and L2 have more significant changes than L1. A substantial decrease of 820 nm reflection curve absorption was observed both in L1 and L2 treatments. Special energy fluxes showed significant difference between the control group and the treated group, which indicated that low concentration Cd stress can cause decrease in quantum yield of PSII in plants studied. Non-stomatal factors resulted in a decrease in net photosynthetic rate and a decrease in photosystem activity. Our results suggested that Cd can damage structure and function of the photosynthesis of S. superba young plants.


Cadmium PSI PSII CO2 assimilation Chlorophyll fluorescence Schima superba 



The authors thank “948” introduction project of The State Bureaucracy of Forestry (2014-4-62) and Nature Science Foundation of Hunan Provincial Innovative Research Team (2013) for the financial support. We are also grateful to the journal of Environmental Science and Pollution Research editor and two anonymous reviewers for their critical reviewing and suggestions of the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jingjing Chu
    • 1
  • Fan Zhu
    • 1
  • Xiaoyong Chen
    • 1
    • 2
  • Huizi Liang
    • 1
  • Renjie Wang
    • 1
  • Xuxu Wang
    • 1
  • Xinhao Huang
    • 1
  1. 1.National Engineering Laboratory for Applied Forest Ecological Technology in Southern China, College of Life Science and TechnologyCentral South University of Forestry and TechnologyChangshaPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.College of Arts and SciencesGovernors State UniversityChicagoUSA

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