Photosynthetic rates of ulva (chlorophyta) measured by pulse amplitude modulated (pam) fluorometry

Sven Beer, Orna Poryan, Christer Larsson, Lennart Axelsson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this work, we attempt to quantify pulse amplitude modulated (PAM) chlorophyll fluorescence measurements in marine macroalgae in terms of photosynthetic rates. For this, the effective electron transfer quantum yield of photosystem II measured for two Ulva species, at various irradiances and inorganic carbon (Ci) concentrations, was multiplied by the estimated flux of photons absorbed by the photosynthetic pigments associated with this photosystem. The rates of electron transport (ETR) calculated in this way were then compared with rates of photosynthetic O2 evolution as measured in association with the fluorescence measurements. It was found that the calculated ETRs correlated linearly with rates of ‘gross’ O2 evolution (net O2 exchange corrected for dark respiration as measured immediately after turning off each irradiance level) within the range of irradiances applied (up to 608 µmol photons m−2s−1). The average molar O2/ETR ratio was 0.238 for Ulva lactuca and 0.261 for Ulva fasciata, which is close to the theoretical maximal value of 0.25. Rates of O2 evolution at various concentrations of Ci also showed linear correlations with ETR, and the average molar O2/ETR ratio was 0.249. These results show that PAM fluorometry can be used as a practical tool for quantifying photosynthetic rates at least under moderate irradiances in thin-bladed macroalgae such as Ulva possessing a CO2-concentrating system. A comparison between the PAM-101 (which was used in Sweden for the light- and Ci-response measurements of Ulva lactuca) and the newly developed portable Diving-PAM (used for Ulva fasciata in Israel) showed that such fluorescence-based photosynthetic rate measurements can also be carried out in situ.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-74
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Phycology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2000


  • Oxygen evolution
  • Pam fluorometry
  • Photosynthesis
  • Ulva


Dive into the research topics of 'Photosynthetic rates of ulva (chlorophyta) measured by pulse amplitude modulated (pam) fluorometry'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this