Diurnal changes in gas exchange and chlorophyll fluorescence parameters of Fritillaria cirrhosa and F. delavayi under field conditions

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To determine what factors limit the growth of wild Fritillaria cirrhosa and Fritillaria delavayi in field conditions, we investigated diurnal changes of the net photosynthetic rate (PN) and the correlation between PN and various environmental factors. Parameters of chlorophyll (Chl) fluorescence were evaluated to test whether ecological fragility caused the extinction of wild F. cirrhosa and F. delavayi. Our study reveals for the first time that F. cirrhosa and F. delavayi did not encounter significant stress under field conditions. A small reduction in maximum photochemical efficiency was observed under high irradiance. The maximum PN of F. cirrhosa was 30 % higher than F. delavayi (p<0.05), and a similar difference was observed for apparent quantum yield (27.3 %, p<0.01). F. delavayi was better adapted to a wide range of irradiances and high environmental temperature. Correlation between PN and environmental factors (without considering the effects of interactions among environmental factors on PN) using leaves of F. cirrhosa revealed that the three primary influencing factors were air pressure (p<0.01), relative humidity (p<0.01), and soil temperature (p<0.05). In F. delavayi, the influencing factors were relative humidity (p<0.01), soil temperature (p<0.05), CO2 concentration (p<0.05), and air pressure (p<0.05). Path analysis (considering effects among environmental factors on PN) showed that air temperature (negative correlation), photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD) and relative humidity were the three primary limiting factors influencing the growth of F. cirrhosa. For this species, relative humidity reacted indirectly with air pressure, which was reported singularly in other species. Limiting growth factors for F. delavayi were PPFD, air pressure (negative correlation), soil temperature (negative correlation) and air temperature (negative correlation).

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