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Effects of light stress on the growth of the epiphytic orchid Cattleya forbesii Lindl. X Laelia tenebrosa Rolfe

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Author(s): STANCATO GIULIO C. | MAZZAFERA PAULO | BUCKERIDGE MARCOS S.

Journal: Revista Brasileira de Botânica
ISSN 0100-8404

Volume: 25;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 229;
Date: 2002;
Original page

Keywords: Photoinhibition | storage | orchids | pseudobulb

ABSTRACT
Considering the performance of CAM epiphytes under high levels of radiation or in shaded environments, with growth rate proportional to light intensity, the objective of this work was to evaluate the effects of long-term light stress on the growth of a Brazilian epiphytic orchid, Cattleya forbesii Lindl. X Laelia tenebrosa Rolfe. Two groups of plants were used in the first experiment, one under 90% (@ 1,650 µmol.m-2.s-1) of Photosynthetically Active Radiation (PAR) and the other maintained under 22.5% (@ 400 µmol.m-2.s-1). In the second experiment the diffusive resistance, transpiration rate and fluorescence levels were monitored for plants that were under 22.5% of PAR, under 90% and plants transferred from 22.5 to 90%. Our results show that light intensity interfered with growth and development of this orchid. Data on the changes in pseudobulb volume throughout the time course of growth suggest that water and reserves stored in the back shoots are translocated to the current shoot. Regarding stomatal resistance, plants under 22.5% of PAR reached a largest stomatal aperture during the night, whereas those under 90% only after dawn. After transfer from 22.5% PAR to 90% PAR the ratio of Fv/Fm decreased from approximately 0.8 to 0.7. This suggests the limitation of photoprotection mechanisms in the leaf and the results observed after the transfer of plants from 22.5% to 90% reinforce the possibility that a photoinhibition is reflected in a decrease in growth rate.
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