Experimental and simulated light responses of photosynthesis in leaves of three tree species under different soil water conditions

1 State Key Laboratory of Earth Surface Processes and Resource Ecology/Academy of Disaster Reduction and Emergency Management, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, 100875, China;
2 Shandong Provincial Key Laboratory of Soil Erosion and Ecological Restoration, Forestry College, Shandong Agricultural University, Tai'an, 271018, China.
Abstract: Water deficit is one of the major limiting factors in vegetation recovery and restoration in loess, hilly-gully regions of China. The light responses of photosynthesis in leaves of two-year old Prunus sibirica L., Hippophae rhamnoides L., and Pinus tabulaeformis Carr. under various soil water contents were studied using the CIRAS-2 portable photosynthesis system. Light-response curves and photosynthetic parameters were analyzed and fitted using the rectangular hyperbola model, the exponential model, the nonrectangular hyperbola model, and the modified rectangular hyperbola model. Under high light, photosynthetic rate (PN) and stomatal conductance (gs) were steady and photoinhibition was not significant, when the relative soil water content (RWC) varied from 56.3–80.9%, 47.9–82.9%, and 33.4–92.6% for P. sibirica, H. rhamnoides, and P. tabulaeformis, respectively. The light-response curves of PN, the light compensation point (LCP), and the dark respiration rate (RD) were well fitted using the above four models. The nonrectangular hyperbola was the best model in fitting the data; the modified rectangular hyperbola model was the second, and the rectangular hyperbola model was the poorest one. When RWC was higher or lower than the optimal range, the obvious photoinhibition and significant decrease in PN with increasing photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD) were observed in all three species under high light. The light saturation point (LSP) and apparent quantum yield also decreased significantly, when the upper limit of PPFD was 200 μmol m–2 s–1. Under these circumstances, only the modified rectangular hyperbola model was able to fit well the curves of the light response, LCP, LSP, RD, and light-saturated PN.
Keywords: drought-resistant tree species; light-response model; photoinhibition; photosynthetic rate; quantum yield; relative soil water content.
Published in Photosynthetica. 2013, 51(3): 370-378.