"Photophysiology and its response to visible and ultraviolet radiation in freshwater phytoplankton from contrasting light regimes"

Pulse amplitude-modulated (PAM) fluorometry was used to obtain rapid light curves (RLCs) for phytoplankton from small Canadian lakes of varying water clarity, including metalimnetic communities from two clear lakes. RLCs were measured before and after exposure to a number of experimental spectra containing ultraviolet radiation (UVR) and photosynthetically active radiation (PAR). Photochemical (qP) and non-photochemical (NPQ) quenching during RLCs were positively and significantly correlated with recent in situ light history, but the maximum quantum efficiency of Photosystem II (α) and maximum relative rate of electron transport (rETRmax) were not. rETRmax and α were diminished by experimental exposures to UVR and/or high PAR, but significantly less so in phytoplankton from brighter environments. UVR exposures diminished the inducible (photoprotective) NPQ of most epilimnetic phytoplankton. Both the inducible and total (photoprotective + photoinhibitory) NPQ of metalimnetic phytoplankton were stimulated by spectral exposures. Our results are the first obtained from natural communities of freshwater phytoplankton to show that aspects of PSII photophysiology (as inferred from RLCs) vary according to in situ light history.