Soil, Water & Environmental Science
AdvisorMoran, Mary Susan
Papuga, Shirley Anne
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe increasing food demand as well as the need to predict the impact of warming climate on vegetation makes it critical to find the best tools to assess crop production and carbon dioxide (CO₂) exchange between the land and atmosphere. Photosynthesis is a good indicator of crop production and CO₂ exchange. Chlorophyll fluorescence (ChF) is directly related to photosynthesis. ChF can be measured at leaf-scale using active techniques and at field-scales using passive techniques. The measurement principles of both techniques are different. In this study, three overarching questions about ChF were addressed: Q1) How water, nutrient and ambient light conditions determine the relationships between photosynthesis and ChF? Which is the optimum irradiance level for detecting water and nutrient deficit conditions with ChF?; Q2) which are the limits within which active and passive techniques are comparable?; and Q3) What is the seasonal relationship between photosynthesis and ChF when nitrogen is the limiting factor? To address these questions, two main experiments were conducted: Exp1) Concurrent photosynthesis and ChF light-response curves were measured in camelina and wheat plants growing under (i) intermediate-light and (ii) high-light conditions respectively. Plant stress was induced by (i) withdrawing water, and (ii) applying different nitrogen levels; and Exp2) coincident active and passive ChF measurements were made in a wheat field under different nitrogen treatments. The results indicated ChF has a direct relationship with photosynthesis when water or nitrogen drives the relationship. This study demonstrates that the light level at which plants were grown was optimum for detecting water and nutrient deficit with ChF. Also, the results showed that for leaf-average-values, active measurements can be used to better understand the daily and seasonal behavior of passive ChF. Further, the seasonal relation between photosynthesis and ChF with nitrogen stress was not a simple linear function. Our study showed that at times in the season when nitrogen was sufficient and photosynthesis was highest, ChF decreased because these two processes compete for available energy. These results demonstrated that ChF is a reliable indicator of crop stress and has great potential for better understand the CO₂ exchange between the land and atmosphere.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Soil, Water and Environmental Science