The Effect of Prolonged Exposure to Air-Borne Pollutants on the Photosynthesis of Douglas Fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) Studied with in vivo Chlorophyll Fluorescence

  • Olaf van Kooten
  • Lambert W. A. van Hove
  • Wim J. Vredenberg


Two year old douglas firs were exposed to moderate concentrations of SO2, NO2, NH3 or combinations of these gases. The effect on photosynthesis of young needles (age between 20 and 135 days, which had sprouted during the fumigation treatment) was determined with Pulse Amplitude Modulated chlorophyll fluorescence (1). The electron transport rate was inferred from the fluorescence measurements by a method described by Genty et al. (2), which was found to be more appropriate for 4cpglas fir than the method described by Weis and Berry (3). The light response curves were fitted to a formula described by Leverenz (4) from which the maximal electron transport rate, the quantum yield and a measure of the convexity of the light response curve can be deduced. All treatments resulted in a reduced rate of electron transport at saturating illumination as compared to the control (exposed to filtered air). But the most severe reduction (>50%) was observed in the plants exposed to a combination of SO2 and NO2. Firs exposed to NO2 alone revealed an enhanced chlorophyll content, which was concluded from a significant decrease in the convexity of the light response curve. The plants exposed to SO2 revealed a slightly enhanced quantum yield, similarly as has been observed before in poplar shoots (5). The reduced maximal electron transport rate in fir needles fumigated with NH3 was in marked contrast to previous measurements in poplar shoots and broad beans (6–8).


Chlorophyll Fluorescence Electron Transport Rate Light Response Curve Teflon Film Maximal Electron Transport Rate 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. (1).
    Schreiber U., Schliwa U. and Bilger W. (1986) Photosynth. Res. 10, 51–62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. (2).
    Genty B., Briantais J.-M. and Baker N.R. (1989) Biochim. Biophys. Acta 990, 87–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. (3).
    Weis E. and Berry J.A. (1987) Biochim. Biophys. Acta 894, 198–208.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. (4).
    Leverenz J.W. (1987) Physiol. Plantarum 71, 20–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. (5).
    Van Hove L.W.A., Van Kooten O., Van Wijk K.J., Vredenberg W.J., Adema E.H. and Pieters G.A. (1989) Plant Cell Environna., submitted.Google Scholar
  6. (6).
    Van Hove L.W.A., Van Kooten O., Adema E.H., Vredenberg W.J. and Pieters G.A. (1989) Plant Cell Environm., in press.Google Scholar
  7. (7).
    Van Kooten O, Van Hove L.W.A. and Van Wijk K.J. (1988) In: Applications of Chlorophyll Fluorescence (Lichtenthaler H.K. ed.), pp. 203–209, Kluwer Acad. Publ., Dordrecht.Google Scholar
  8. (8).
    Van Kooten O. (1988) Report to the Dutch Priority Programme on Acidification (Natl. Inst. Public Health Environm. Protection) pp. 23, Bilthoven, the Netherlands.Google Scholar
  9. (9).
    Van Kooten O. and Van Hove L.W.A (1988) In: Air Pollution and Ecosystems (Mathy P. ed.) pp. 596–601, D. Reidel Publ. Co., Dordrecht.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. (10).
    Björkman O, and Demmig B. (1987) Planta 170, 489–504.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. (11).
    Mansfield T.A., Lucas P.W. and Wright E.A. (1988) In: Air Pollution and Ecosystems (Mathy P. ed.) pp. 123–141, D. Reidel Publ. Co.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Olaf van Kooten
    • 1
  • Lambert W. A. van Hove
    • 2
  • Wim J. Vredenberg
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. Plant Physiol. ResAgricultural University WageningenWageningenthe Netherlands
  2. 2.Dept. Air PollutionAgricultural University WageningenWageningenthe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations