Measuring rates of photosynthesis of two tropical seagrasses by pulse amplitude modulated (PAM) fluorometry

Sven Beer*, Mats Björk

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

147 Scopus citations


Pulse amplitude modulated (PAM) fluorometers can potentially be used for measurements of photosynthesis rates. In this work, we attempt to assess the validity of such measurements for two common tropical seagrass species using a newly marketed portable device. This was done by comparing calculated photosynthetic electron transport rates (ETRs), based on fluorescence parameters, with rates of photosynthetic O2 evolution. While a linear relationship was found for Halophila ovalis over a wide range of photon irradiances, Halodule wrightii showed a curvilinear response with apparently lower rates of O2 evolution at high irradiance. The apparent average molar ratio of O2 evolution to ETR was 0.28 for H. stipulacea and 0.57 within the linear correlation range for H. wrightii; the deviation of the latter value from the theoretical maximal ratio of 0.25 mol O2 evolved per mol electrons transported through the photosystems is discussed. Results from in situ fluorescence measurements of these two seagrasses in a shallow intertidal habitat at high natural irradiances show that photosynthesis of H. wrightii was significantly reduced at mid-day. The results demonstrate that PAM fluorometry can be used to measure photosynthetic performances in seagrasses. However, in order to quantify ETRs it may be necessary to determine the fraction of incident light absorbed by thicker-leaved species more exactly than was done in these initial trials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-76
Number of pages8
JournalAquatic Botany
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2000


FundersFunder number


    • PAM fluorometry
    • Photosynthesis
    • Seagrasses


    Dive into the research topics of 'Measuring rates of photosynthesis of two tropical seagrasses by pulse amplitude modulated (PAM) fluorometry'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this