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Effect of Water Stress on Photosynthesis, Chlorophyll Fluorescence Parameters and Water Use Efficiency of Common Reed in the Hexi Corridor

Zhang, Y. J., Gao, H., Li, Y. H., Wang, L., Kong, D. S., Guo, Y. Y., Yan, F., Wang, Y. W., Lu, K., Tian, J. W., Lu, Y. L.
Russian journal of plant physiology 2019 v.66 no.4 pp. 556-563
Phragmites australis, carbon dioxide, chlorophyll, drought, field capacity, lakes, light intensity, photosystem II, ribulose-bisphosphate carboxylase, semiarid zones, stomatal conductance, water stress, water use efficiency, wetlands, China
Water stress is the major environmental stress that affect agricultural production worldwide, especially in arid and semi-arid regions. This research investigated the effect of water stress on common reed (Phragmites australis (Cav.) Trin. ex Steud.) grown in the West Lake Wetland of Zhangye City, China. We designed with four water treatments (100, 95, 85 and 75% of water field capacity, i.e. CK (100%), mild (95%), moderate (85%) and severe (75%) water deficit regimes). The effect of water stress on photosynthesis and chlorophyll fluorescence parameters was investigated. There was a midday depression in net photosynthetic rate (Pₙ) for CK, mild and moderate drought, but not for severe drought. Stomatal limitation was dominant for mild treatment. But under severe drought stomatal limitation to photosynthesis was dominating in the morning and nonstomatal limitation was dominating in the afternoon. Compared with CK treatment, Pₙ, stomatal conductance (gₛ), intercellular CO₂ concentration (Cᵢ), transpiration rate (E) and water use efficiency (WUE) were always lower at drought stress. This result suggests that water stress caused the photosynthesis of common reed to be completely blocked and the common reed was a drought-sensitive plant. We found 75% is the moisture threshold for common reed. The decrease in Fₘ, Fᵥ, Fᵥ/Fₘ and increase F₀ suggested that Rubisco activity reduced and PSII partially inactivated during the day under drought. However, part of this inactivation of PSII might be alleviated under mild or moderate drought, but severe drought cannot. Drought stress also affected the photosynthesis Pₙ-PAR response curve. Drought stress increased LCP, RD and decreased LSP, Pₘₐₓ and AQY. This indicates that when common reed suffers from drought, the utilization range of light intensity become narrowed and photosynthetic ability or adaptability to light reduced.