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6 February 2023 Photosynthetic electron transport in a tropical moss Hyophila involuta
Raymond J. Ritchie, Suhailar Sma-Air
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Despite their global distribution moss physiology is not well understood, particularly in tropical environments. Photosynthetic Electron Transport Rate (ETR) of Hyophila involuta was measured using PAM technology. The plants were growing in a heavily shaded habitat with irregular sunflecks of full sunlight. Two models were used for estimating photosynthetic electron transport (ETR), the Waiting-in-Line and Eilers-Peeters models. Both take photoinhibition into account and gave similar results. The population studied was growing on bricks and stonework and so periodically dried out. The same species is sometimes found in waterfall environments where it is semi-aquatic. ETRmax was low at dawn, increased to an early morning maxima and then decreased during the course of the day, partially reversed by rainstorms. Mid-morning (10:30 solar time): Eopt ≈ 521 ± 77 µmol photon m–2 s–1 which is higher than might be expected in a shaded sun-fleck environment, ETRmax ≈ 28.3 ± 2.5 µmol e- m–2 s–1 on a projected surface area basis or ≈ 57.7 ± 5.1 (µmol e- g–1 Chl a s–1), photosynthetic efficiency (Alpha, α0) ≈ 0.301 (e- photon–1 g–1 Chl a). Chl a content of Hyophila was ≈ 453 mg Chl a m–2 with Chl b/a ≈ 0.371. The O2 electrode-based respiration rate was R = 6.78 ± 0.698 µmol O2 g–1 Chl a s–1, the ETRmax is roughly equivalent to Gross photosynthesis (Pg) ≈ 14.4 ± 1.28 µmol O2 g–1 Chl a s–1 (4 e-/ O2), so the optimum Pg/R ratio is about 2.12 ± 0.289 and net photosynthesis (Pn) is ≈ 7.62 ± 1.46 µmol O2 g–1 Chl a s–1. Thus even under optimum irradiance net photosynthesis was actually rather low. pH experiments showed that Hyophila used both CO2 & HCO3- inorganic carbon sources, suggesting that a concentrating mechanism (CCM) is present. Hyophila is partially homiochlorophyllous, recovering well from desiccation after 2h of lighted rehydration and recovers more after 24h but lost ≈30% of its Chl a. The moss retained its chlorophyll content if desiccated in the dark. The moss lost ≈ 2/3 of its Chl a during the monsoonal dry season.

Copyright ©2023 by The American Bryological and Lichenological Society, Inc.
Raymond J. Ritchie and Suhailar Sma-Air "Photosynthetic electron transport in a tropical moss Hyophila involuta," The Bryologist 126(1), 52-68, (6 February 2023).
Received: 24 July 2022; Accepted: 19 December 2022; Published: 6 February 2023
carbon concentrating mechanism (CCM)
maximum photosynthetic electron transport rate (ETRmax)
optimum irradiance (Eopt)
rapid light curves
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