Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


The effects of exposure to magnesium or potassium deficiency on spruce needle photosynthesis were studied before symptoms of damage were visible, and recovery was followed. Water content, pigment content and O(2) evolution rate were chosen as parameters of physiological activity in addition to chlorophyll fluorescence. In the case of exposure to Mg deficiency, the first symptoms detected by all the physiological parameters were observed in older needles. An effect on chlorophyll fluorescence (decrease in fluorescence index and photochemical quenching, and increase in non-photochemical quenching) was detected in younger needles at the beginning of the deficiency treatment with little effect on the other physiological parameters (decrease in water content and in photosynthetic rate). No recovery was observed. After a K-deficiency exposure, both kinds of needles were affected, but a high recovery rate was observed, especially in the current-year needles, where a complete recovery from damage was detected by fluorescence and confirmed later by visual inspection. These results indicate the possibility of an important early diagnosis of damage in forest decline and suggest that chlorophyll fluorescence can be used, at least in the laboratory, as a qualitative test of plant health.

Additional information

Authors: BAILLON S F, JRC Ispra Estab. (IT);DALSCHAERT X, JRC Ispra Estab. (IT);GRASSI S, JRC Ispra Estab. (IT);GEISS F, JRC Ispra Estab. (IT)
Bibliographic Reference: Article: Trees, Vol. 2 (1988), pp. 173-179
Record Number: 198910196 / Last updated on: 1994-12-01
Original language: en
Available languages: en