Chin J Plan Ecolo ›› 2017, Vol. 41 ›› Issue (5): 570-576.DOI: 10.17521/cjpe.2016.0245

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Effects of shading on photosynthetic characteristics and chlorophyll fluorescence parameters in leaves of Hydrangea macrophylla

Jian-Guo CAI*, Meng-Qi WEI, Yi ZHANG, Yun-Long WEI   

  1. School of Landscape Architecture, Zhejiang Agriculture and Forestry University, Lin’an, Zhejiang 311300, China
  • Online:2017-05-10 Published:2017-06-22
  • Contact: Jian-Guo CAI
  • About author:

    KANG Jing-yao(1991-), E-mail:


Aims The objectives were to investigate the effects of different light intensities on photosynthetic characteristics and chlorophyll fluorescence parameters, to clarify the physiological responses and photo-protective mechanisms of Hydrangea macrophylla to changes in light regimes in view of the distribution of energy absorbed and photosynthetic characteristics.Methods Three light regimes including natural and shade (shading rate 50% and 75% of natural light) were applied to plants for 60 days. After the treatment, the gas-exchange, chlorophyll a fluorescence and photosynthesis-light curves were measured by a portable leaf gas exchange system (LI-6400).Important findings The results showed that the weak light intensity treatment reduced dark respiration rate, light compensation point and light saturation point of plant, but increased apparent quantum yield, suggesting that plants had the physiological strategy to utilize the weakening light by reducing respiration. The net photosynthetic rate, intercellular CO2 concentration, transpiration rate and water use efficiency of plants grown below 50% of natural light showed significant difference compared with natural and shading rate 75% of natural light. There were significant difference between natural and shade treatments in the maximal quantum efficiency of PSII (Fv/Fm), as indicated that it was significantly less at full light than that at 50% of natural light. Initial fluorescence intensity (Fo) of plants was higher at full light than that at 50% of natural light, suggesting that photoinhibition occurred in natural light. The non-photochemical quenching (NQP) decreased with the aggravation of shade stress, indicating that shading decreased the efficiency of photochemical reaction by reducing the fraction of incident light in photochemical energy utilization and decreased thermal dissipation through regulating energy distribution in photosystem II (PSII) in the leaves of Hydrangea macrophylla. In general, the 70% of incident light in photochemical energy utilization was distributed to thermal dissipation, 20% was distributed to non-regulated energy dissipation and 4% was distributed to effective photochemical reaction. In conclusion, responses of plants to increased irradiance are governed by strategy: to utilize a high fraction of incident light in photochemistry and regulate energy dissipation in PSII and weaken the accumulation of excess excitation energy in PSII to protect the photosynthetic apparatus in the leaves of H. macrophylla under saturated radiation.

Key words: Hydrangea macrophylla, shading, photosynthesis, chlorophyll fluorescence, light adaptation