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Evaluation of electrolyte leakage, chlorophyll fluorescence and ultrastructural techniques for detecting effects of acid mist on frost hardiness of sitka spruce shoots

, : Evaluation of electrolyte leakage, chlorophyll fluorescence and ultrastructural techniques for detecting effects of acid mist on frost hardiness of sitka spruce shoots. Environmental & Experimental Botany 34(3): 261-273

Two grafted clones (141, DF) of Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis L.) were exposed to acid mist containing 1.6 and 0.1 mol m-3 concentrations of NH-4+, NO-3-, H+ and SO-4-2- at pHs 2.5 and 5.0, respectively, in open-top chambers for 27 weeks from May to November. In late November, needle and shoot samples were collected for microscopy and frost hardiness assessments. Electrolyte leakage, ultrastructural observations and chlorophyll fluorescence methods showed that clone 141 was more frost hardy than clone DF. Ultrastructural observations indicated that both clones treated with acid mist were in a more advanced state of hardening compared with controls. Chlorophyll fluorescence and electrolyte leakage data were not always in agreement, confirming that these two methods assess different physiological processes which are not equally sensitive to acid mist or freezing temperatures. Measurements of electrolyte leakage showed a significant effect of acid mist and clone on the shoots' ability to withstand sub-zero temperatures. Chlorophyll fluorescence, as assessed by the F-v/F-m ratio, measured post-freezing, showed that the activity of photosystem II is less sensitive to acid mist than the plasmalemma. The results demonstrate that the F-v/F-m ratio cannot be used as a substitute for electrolyte leakage in establishing differences in effects of acid mist on freezing injury.


DOI: 10.1016/0098-8472(94)90047-7

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