, Volume 40, Issue 1, pp 35–39 | Cite as

The Influence of Leaf Windows on the Utilization and Absorption of Radiant Energy in Seven Desert Succulents

  • K.J. Egbert
  • C.E. Martin


Four fluorescence parameters [Fv/Fm = the intrinsic efficiency of energy conversion via photosystem 2 (PS2); Fv′/Fm′= the efficiency of energy conversion via PS2 in the light; P = fraction of absorbed radiant energy utilized for photosynthesis; and D = fraction of absorbed radiant energy dissipated as heat] were measured on leaves of seven species of succulents having epidermal windows. While the function of leaf windows has reportedly been to increase absorption of radiant energy and, hence, the rate of photosynthesis in these species, recent evidence indicates that this translucent portion of epidermal tissue, lacking chlorophyll, may also result in photoinhibition in these species, especially for those with growth habits aboveground. Species with aboveground and belowground growth habits were compared with their leaf windows covered with reflective tape and with windows unobstructed. Results showed no increase in photoinhibition for these species resulting from the radiant energy penetrating the window tissue. Although the efficiency of the photosynthetic mechanism was not significantly influenced by the additional radiant energy provided by the window for individual species, there were significant differences in the efficiencies of radiant energy capture (Fv′/Fm′) and utilization (P) between the two growth habits. Species with an aboveground growth habit were less efficient in radiant energy utilization compared with the species having a belowground growth habit.

chlorophyll fluorescence Haworthia truncata Lithops olivacea Opthalmophyllum longum Pepero dolabriformis Peperomia graveolens Peperomia pulchella photoinhibition photosynthesis Senecio rowleyanus 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • K.J. Egbert
    • 1
  • C.E. Martin
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Program in Plant BiologyUniversity of KansasLawrenceUSA

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