Main content area

Seasonal dynamics of chlorophyll and microelement content in developing conifer needles of Abies sibirica and Picea abies

Silkina, O. V., Vinokurova, R. I.
Russian journal of plant physiology 2009 v.56 no.6 pp. 780-786
Abies sibirica, Picea abies, arsenic, autumn, barium, cadmium, chlorophyll, chromium, cobalt, conifer needles, conifers, copper, lead, manganese, molybdenum, nickel, seasonal variation, silver, spring, summer, vanadium, vegetation, zinc
Composition of microelements and photosynthetic pigment content (chlorophylls (Chl) a and b) were monitored in growing needles of spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) and Siberian fir (Abies sibirica Ledeb.) during spring-autumn vegetation period. The dynamics of fresh weight and needle length for the first-year needles of spruce and fir revealed a number of shared and species-specific features in growth patterns of photosynthetic organs. In the beginning of growth period (in May), the needles elongated rapidly, while June-July were marked by the increase in needle weight. In P. abies the needle weight accumulated rapidly (specific growth rates μmax up to 0.20 day⁻¹) over a short period (14 days), while in A. sibirica the needle weight increased slower (μmax ≤ 0.11 day⁻¹) but over a longer period (≥30 days). The dynamics of Chl a and Chl b content and their ratio were identical in needles of both species over the growth period, although changes in Chl a were pronounced stronger than those in Chl b. In spring (May), a relatively high total Chl content per needle dry weight was noted. In summer (June-August), the total Chl content declined appreciably. In autumn (September-November), the total chlorophyll content in first-year needles increased slightly. Microelements were classified into two groups according to seasonal dynamics of their relative content in first-year needles. The first group includes Ba, Mn, Zn, B, Cu, Co, Cr, Pb, and Mo, whose relative content had a distinctive maximum in July, coincident with the peak in Chl content. The second group comprises Ni, V, Ag, Be, Cd, and As, whose relative content was minimal at this period. Seasonal changes in microelement composition were similar for the two conifer species examined, which is likely due to different physiological values of various microelements for photosynthetic organs.