Photoinhibition of holly (Ilex aquifolium) in the field during the winter

Quentin J. Groom, Neil R. Baker, Steve P. Long

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The distribution of holly (Ilex aquifolium) and its habitat preferences indicate a sensitivity to low temperature, particularly when exposed to high light. Experiments were conducted to determine whether photoinhibition of photosynthesis occurs in holly leaves in the field in United Kingdom during the winter. Photosynthetic efficiency was assessed in holly leaves that were exposed to or shaded from direct sunlight using measurements of photosynthetic oxygen evolution and chlorophyll fluorescence. Field measurements were conducted over 3 weeks during January and February. Correlation of the measurements of photosynthetic efficiency with weather conditions indicated that holly was suffering photoinhibition, particularly in leaves exposed to direct sunlight. Controlled environment studies demonstrated that exposure of leaves to low temperature and high light resulted in reductions in photosynthetic efficiency; however, leaves recovered rapidly when exposed to a higher temperature and reduced light level.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)585-590
Number of pages6
JournalPhysiologia Plantarum
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1991
Externally publishedYes


  • Chlorophyll fluorescence
  • Ilex aquifolium
  • holly
  • photoinhibition
  • photosynthesis
  • quantum yield

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science
  • Cell Biology


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