J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2009, Vol. 51 ›› Issue (6): 593-603.DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-7909.2008.00802.x

• Molecular Ecology and Evolution • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Tufted Hairgrass (Deschampsia caespitosa) Exhibits a Lower Photosynthetic Plasticity than Antarctic Hairgrass (D. antarctica)

Grazyna Bystrzejewska-Piotrowska1* and Pawel L. Urban   

  1. Isotope Laboratory, Faculty of Biology, University of Warsaw, 02-096 Warsaw, Miecznikowa 1, Poland
  • Received:2008-07-16 Accepted:2008-11-06 Published:2009-01-21
  • About author:*Author for correspondence Tel: +48 22 554 2300; Fax: +48 22 554 1106; E-mail: byst@biol.uw.edu.pl


The aim of our work was to assess photosynthetic plasticity of two hairgrass species with different ecological origins (a temperate zone species, Deschampsia caespitosa (L.) Beauv. and an Antarctic species, D. antarctica) and to consider how the anticipated climate change may affect vitality of these plants. Measurements of chlorophyll fluorescence showed that the photosystem II (PSII) quantum efficiency of D. caespitosa decreased during 4 d of incubation at 4 ◦C but it remained stable in D. antarctica. The fluorescence half-rise times were almost always lower in D. caespitosa than in D. antarctica, irrespective of the incubation temperature. These results indicate that the photosynthetic apparatus of D. caespitosa has poorer performance in these conditions. D. caespitosa reached the maximum photosynthesis rate at a higher temperature than D. antarctica although the values obtained at 8 C were similar in both species. The photosynthetic water-use efficiency (photosynthesis-to-transpiration ratio, P/E) emerges as an important factor demonstrating presence of mechanisms which facilitate functioning of a plant in non-optimal conditions. Comparison of the P/Evalues, which were higher in D. antarctica than in D. caespitosa at low and medium temperatures, confirms a high degree of adjustability of the photosynthetic apparatus in D. antarctica and unveils the lack of such a feature in D. caespitosa.

Bystrzejewska-Piotrowska G, Urban PL (2009). Tufted hairgrass (Deschampsia caespitosa) exhibits a lower photosynthetic plasticity than Antarctic hairgrass (D. antarctica). J. Integr. Plant Biol. 51(6), 593-603

Key words: chlorophyll fluorescence, climate change, Deschampsia, photosynthesis, photosynthetic water-use efficiency.

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