Applications of Chlorophyll Fluorescence in Ecotoxicology: Heavy Metals, Herbicides, and Air Pollutants

  • Radovan Popovic
  • David Dewez
  • Philippe Juneau

Abstract

Environmental stress factors, such as herbicides, heavy metals, and air pollutants, may produce deleterious effects on photosynthesis and consequently damage higher plant or algal growth. The inhibition of photosynthesis or biochemical processes linked to photosynthesis can represent the physiological state of the plant and therefore measurement of photosynthesis can be used as an indicator of environmental stress effects (Krause and Weis, 1984; Lichtenthaler and Rinderle, 1988; Bolhàr-Nordenkampf et al., 1989). Very early in environmental studies in photosynthesis it was concluded that measuring an induced change of the photosynthetic process could be useful to monitor the presence of environmental pollutants (Neubauer and Schreiber, 1987). It has been established that measurements of variable chlorophyll a fluorescence from intact plants offer several parameter values that are very useful for understanding the functioning of specific processes of photosynthesis (Govindjee, 1995). As a consequence, some effects of pollutants detected by the change of fluorescence parameters were found to be directly associated with the photosynthetic process (Van Coillie et al., 1983; Wong and Couture, 1986). Different algal species are used in studying pollutant effects or for routine bioassays based on growth rate or fluorescence emission (Blanck et al., 1984; Juneau et al., 2002).

Keywords

Toxicity Mercury Cadmium Phytoplankton Microalgae 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Radovan Popovic
    • 1
  • David Dewez
    • 1
  • Philippe Juneau
    • 2
  1. 1.Département de Chimie et de Biochimie, TOXENUniversité du Québec à MontréalCanada
  2. 2.Department of Earth and Ocean SciencesUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada

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