Journal Article

Detection and quantification of changes in membrane-associated calcium in red spruce saplings exposed to acid fog

Mei Jiang and Richard Jagels

in Tree Physiology

Volume 19, issue 14, pages 909-916
Published in print December 1999 | ISSN: 0829-318X
Published online December 1999 | e-ISSN: 1758-4469 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/treephys/19.14.909
Detection and quantification of changes in membrane-associated calcium in red spruce saplings exposed to acid fog

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Five-year-old red spruce saplings (Picea rubens Sarg.) were exposed to either (1) acid fog consisting of a mixture of H2SO4 and HNO3 adjusted to pH 2.5, (2) distilled-water fog at pH 5.6, or (3) no fog (dry control) for 3.5 hours per day, five times a week during the 1996 and 1997 growing seasons. The effect of fog on cell membrane-associated calcium (mCa) of leaf mesophyll cells was investigated with the fluorescence probe chlortetracycline (CTC). In both years, mean mCa concentrations were significantly less in needles exposed to acid fog than in needles exposed to distilled-water fog or in untreated needles. In 1997, acid-fog treatment resulted in 25 and 12% reductions in mCa in current-year needles, and 18 and 15% reductions in 1-year-old needles, compared with untreated needles and needles exposed to distilled-water fog, respectively, indicating that acid deposition induced calcium leaching from the membranes of photosynthetic mesophyll cells. Exposure to distilled-water fog also led to reductions in mCa in young needles, suggesting that water films on needle surfaces can induce losses by diffusion between the needle interior and surface. Consistent with the chamber studies, field data obtained from red spruce trees at two sites in Maine showed that low mCa concentrations in needles were associated with exposure to acid fog.

Keywords: chlortetracycline; forest decline; leaching; needle injury; Picea rubens

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry

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