Ernest Bielinis, Weronika Jóźwiak, Piotr Robakowski
Modelling of the relationship between the SPAD values and photosynthetic pigments content in Quercus petraea and Prunus serotina leaves
Dendrobiology 2015, vol. 73: 125-134
Abstract: In forest research and nursery practice there is often a need to monitor the condition and responses of trees to different stressors. Chlorophyll content in leaf is a good indicator of plant health and can be measured rapidly in many repetitions using the chlorophyll meter SPAD-502Plus. This practical tool provides the values of chlorophyll content in relative units (SPAD values), therefore it should be calibrated for each species to determine chlorophyll content in physiological units. In this study, the chlorophyll meter SPAD-502Plus was calibrated to be used for total chlorophyll (Chl), chlorophyll a (Chl a), chlorophyll b (Chl b) and carotenoids (Car) contents determination in leaves of Quercus petraea and Prunus serotina seedlings growing in different light environments. In the same leaf, SPAD values were measured with the Chl meter, and then photosynthetic pigments content (PP; chlorophyll and carotenoids) was consistently assessed using a conventional extraction method. The measurements were conducted once a month from May to November in three light treatments to obtain the widest possible range of the PP content values. To estimate total Chl content in leaves using the chlorophyll meter the quadratic polynomial functions: y = 0.0374x2 + 0.5345x + 0.5137 and y = 0.024x2 + 2.1998x – 32.7866 were obtained from the relationship between the Chl meter SPAD readings and total Chl determined spectrophotometrically for P. serotina and Q. petraea, respectively. Chl was higher under shade compared with full light regime and Car were linearly correlated with Chl. PP content was positively correlated with air temperature except for Car in P. serotina leaves. It was concluded that at the same soil conditions chlorophyll content in leaves of Q. petraea and P. serotina depended on species, light regimes and temperature of growth. The chlorophyll meter can be used as a practical tool to monitor and compare photosynthetic pigments content in leaves between tree species or populations acclimated to different environments together with a control of abiotic and biotic factors affecting pigments content and leaf optical properties.
Additional key words: black cherry; carotenoids; chlorophyll content; chlorophyll meter; sessile oak