Winter Stress And Chlorophyll Fluorescence in Norway Spruce (Picea abies, L., Karst.)

  • H. R. Bolhàr-Nordenkampf
  • E. Lechner


Winter stress induces loss of photosynthetic capacity in at least two ways: 1.) At freezing temperatures below -4° C the photosynthetic membranes were disintegrated. 2.) Chilling temperatures enhance the sensitivity for photoinhibition. Fast kinetics of chlorophyll fluorescence induction (FV/Fm = Fm-F0/Fm; Fm = P) provide adequate means to assess the photosynthetic capacity of a plant.

Samples from the experimental garden (Vienna) and from three sites in the alpine region (Zillertal) were measured with a microscopic fluorimeter and additionally with a portable fluorimeter. Freezing temperatures induce a marked loss of FV/Fm independently of incident light-intensities. FV/Fm also declined if chilling temperatures are combined with high light-intensities. Chilling temperatures are combined with low light had no photoinhibitory effect. Therefore, shaded and snow covered branches are protected against light stree.

Chlorophyll flourescence is a sensitive tool to detect stress phenomena as well as a measuring device which is manageable even under unfavourable climatic conditions.

Key words

fluorescence induction winter stress photoinhibition Picea abies 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Bolhàr-Nordenkampf, HR and Lechner, E, 1988: Temperature and light dependent modifications of chlorophyll fluorescence kinetics in spruce needles during winter. Photosyn Res, in press.Google Scholar
  2. Bongi, G and Long, SP, 1987: Light-dependent damage of photosynthesis in olive leaves during chilling and high light treatment. Plant, Cell Environ 10: 241–249.Google Scholar
  3. Buschmann, C, 1986: Fluoreszenz- und Wärmeabstrahlung bei Pflanzen. Naturwissenschaften 73: 691–699.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Butler, WL and Kitajima, M, 1975: A tripartite model for chloroplast fluorescence. In: Avron, M. Proceedings of the 3rd international congress on photosynthesis. Elsevier, Amsterdam.Google Scholar
  5. Ireland, CR, Telfer, A, Covello, PS, Baker, NR and Barber, J., 1988: Studies on the limitations to photosynthesis in leaves of the atrazine resistant mutant of Senecio vulgaris L. Planta 173: 459–467.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Krause, GH and Somersalo, S, 1988: Fluorescence as a tool in photosynthesis research: application in studies of photoinhibition, cold acclimation and freezing stress. Proc R Soc Lond, in press.Google Scholar
  7. Lichtenthaler, HK, Buschmann, C, Rinderle, U and Schmuck, G, 1986: Application of chlorophyll fluorescence in ecophysiology. Radiat Environ Biophys 25: 297–308.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Martin, B, Martensson, O and Öquist, G, 1978: Effects of frost hardening and dehardening on photosynthetic electron transport and fluorescence properties in isolated chloroplasts of Pinus silvestris. Physiol Plant 43: 297–305.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Öquist, 1983: Effects of low temperature on photosynthesis. Plant Cell Environ 6: 281–300.Google Scholar
  10. Renger, G and Schreiber, U, 1986: Practical applications of fluorimetric methods to algae and higher plant research. In: Govindjee, Amesz, A and Fork, DC. Light emission by plants and bacteria. Academic Press, Orlando.Google Scholar
  11. Sakai, A and Larcher, W, 1987: Mechanisms of frost survival. In: Mechanisms of frost survival. Responses and adaptation to freezing stress. Springer Verlag, Berlin.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Senser, M and Beck, E, 1979: Kälteresistenz der Fichte. II Einfluß von Photoperiode und Temperatur auf die Struktur und photochemischen Reaktionen von Chloroplasten. Ber Dt Bot Ges, Bd. 92: 243–259.Google Scholar
  13. Strand, M. and Lundmark, T, 1987: Effects of low night temperature and light on chlorophyll fluorescence of field-grown seedlings of Scots pine. Tree Physiol 3: 211–224.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. R. Bolhàr-Nordenkampf
  • E. Lechner
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. for Horticultural Plant Physiology, Institute for Plant PhysiologyUniversity of ViennaViennaAustria

Personalised recommendations