Chin J Plan Ecolo ›› 2006, Vol. 30 ›› Issue (1): 40-46.doi: 10.17521/cjpe.2006.0006

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles


SHI Sheng-Bo, LI Hui-Mei, WANG Xue-Ying, YUE Xiang-Guo, XU Wen-Hua, CHEN Gui-Chen   

  1. Northwest Plateau Institute of Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xining 810001, China
  • Online:2006-01-30 Published:2006-01-30
  • Contact: SHI Sheng_Bo


The photosynthetic characteristics of three medicinal alpine plants, Rheum tanguticum, Anisodus tanguticus and Gentiana straminea, were studied and compared to a low land species, Isatis indigotica. The response of net photo synthesis rate (Pn) to intercellular CO2 concentrations (Ci) and photon flux density (PFD) was determined using a LI_6400 photosynthesis system. The photosynthetic pigments and UV_B_absorbing compounds also were determined in the four species in order to evaluate differences in their photosynthetic characteristics. The results indicated that the three alpine plants had relatively low photosynthetic quantum yields (AQY) as compared to the low land species of I. indigotica, and AQY, carboxylation efficiency (CE) and photorespiratory rate (Rp) were the lowest in R. tanguticum. However, Pn did not respond strongly to changes in PFD, which may be due to the high concentration of phot osynthetic pigments and UV_B_absorbing compounds in the leaves. Similar to R. tanguticum, the alpine plant G. straminea also had higher contents of UV_B _absorbing compounds, chlorophyll and carotenoids, but its Rp was higher and Pn was limited by stomatal conductance in response to PFD and Pn was lower. The photosynthetic characteristics of the alpine species, A. tanguticus, was similar to the low land species, I. indigotica, both of which had a high AQY and CE. These results indicated that although there were some differences among the three alpine species, no corresponding characteristics appeared in photosynthetic advancements. The response of Pn to Ci exhibited Pi regeneration limitations after reaching full CO2 saturation. The changes of Rp in the four species were similar to that of maximum Pn in photosynthetic Ci response.

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