Chlorophyll Fluorescence Signatures as Vitality Indicator in Forest Decline Research

  • Hartmut K. Lichtenthaler
  • Ursula Rinderle


The chlorophyll-fluorescence signatures of the needles of healthy (damage class 0/1, Althof, 450 m above sea level) and damaged spruce trees (damage class 3/4, Mauzenberg 700 m altitude) in the northern Black Forest were determined by using a self-constructed portable field fluorometer as well as the PAM-fluorometer. These new instruments allow measurement of the red-laser-induced chlorophyll fluorescence induction kinetics (Kautsky effect) at 690 and 730 nm, the determination of the Rfd-values (Rfd 690 and Rfd 730) as vitality index, and the stress-adaptation index Ap as well as the photochemical Q-quenching and the non-photochemical E-quenching of the spruce needles. The differences in the fluorescence signatures and photosyn-thetic activity between the needles of healthy and damaged trees are presented. In the needles of the damaged trees the Rfd-values, the capacity for photosynthesis and the reoxidation of QA are strongly reduced, whereas the non-photochemical E-quenching is increased.

The chlorophyll fluorescence is a very powerful non-destructive method for fast outdoor screening of tree physiology and for ground-truth measurements in remote sensing of forest decline as well as detection of damage to the photosynthetic apparatus.

Key Words

Chlorophyll fluorescence forest decline Kautsky effect PAM-fluorometer photosynthesis Rfd-values vitality index 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hartmut K. Lichtenthaler
    • 1
  • Ursula Rinderle
    • 1
  1. 1.Botanisches Institut II (Plant Physiology and Plant Biochemistry)University of KarlsruheKarlsruheGermany

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