Phi II, LEF, SPAD, NPQT in Quercus Trees Fall 2016


We are studying Phi II, SPAD, LEF, and NPQT differ in Quercus imbricaria and Quercus bicolor trees. It is known that trees prepare for winter by stopping the production of their food and halting photosynthesis. What we would like to study is whether or not the species type of a tree affects the MultispeQ values of LEF,SPAD, NPQT, and PhiII. These factors help us to determine which tree is more photosynthetically efficient.

We have two groups of trees: Quercus imbricaria and Quercus bicolor. We hypothesize that Quercus imbricaria will have the higher values of LEF,NPQT, SPAD, PhiII than Q. bicolor due to another research conclusion by McCarthy(2008) stating that Q.Imbricaria is the most resilient tree in drought condition when compared to other Quercus species. We interpret this as being more likely to have high photosynthetic activity.

This research could be applied to farming practices to allow better selection of species in order to allow for the maximum production of the plant in regards to photosynthetic practices and food it may produce. This could be very beneficial to extremely rural communities where hunger may be an issue and good farming selection of the most photosynthetically efficient plant could allow for more net production of food.

To answer this question, readings will be taken twice weekly on each of the six trees. The project is closed to 4 group members. Although it may inspire other questions, no further data will be accepted into this research project. The exterior leaves will be our reading point for the MultispeQ device: 20 from each tree of which 5 will be selected from each of 4 quadrants based on the compass on the map legend.The quadrant system ensures we get a sample that represents the tree's entirety, Technical replicates will occur when testing different leaves within a particular tree, while biological will occur within the six different trees.

Every tree has been assigned a code, which will be necessary for organizational and statistical purposes. The obstacles will be noted for every reading as well. The readings from the MuiltispeQ are Phi II, SPAD, LEF, NPQT. These will be used to determine if Species type is correlated to the intensity of these readings and therefore help us determine which tree is more photosynthetically efficient.

Time constraints due to Fall approaching may force us to read three times a week, but based on our tree species, we believe twice a week will be adequate based on average chlorophyll change for quercus trees.

The sample size is n=6 in regards to numbers of trees, but 120 leaves are sampled on every day of data collection. This means a sample size of n=240 leaves are collected weekly (120 in each location). To achieve statistically significant results, we are using three trees for each species and dividing the tree into the 4 main quadrants on the compass to allow for further variability based on species type and more statistical accuracy by randomness(quadrant splitting).

Random Sampling: MultispeQ #124 will be used for the entirety of our research's data collection period. Our random sampling method is defined as: beginning in the northwest quadrant and working clockwise, 5 live leaves per quadrant selected at first glance with no bias in regards to their appearance or other factors will be sampled. The trees are all reachable without a step stool and the branches will remain in their natural extension while testing occurs.

We expect that a T-test and ANOVA will allow us to statistically analyze differences in our data based on the location. The data will be analyzed in its entirety for any trends noticed in regards to both location and other factors that may have also impacted the research.


Leaf Photosynthesis - MultispeQ Beta ONLY

Measures photosynthesis-related parameters in <15 seconds, including: Phi2, PhiNPQ, PhiNO, NPQt, qL, LEF, and SPAD. In addition, measures PAR (photosynthetically active radiation), ambient temperature and relative humidity.

Works with the MultispeQ Beta device only


  1. What group was the tree in? (Multiple Choice)
  2. What was the tree code for Q. Imbricaria? (Multiple Choice)
  3. What was the tree code for the Q. Bicolor? (Multiple Choice)
  4. Which quadrant was sampled? (Multiple Choice)
  5. Randomly selected leaf on exterior of tree in the quadrant--which number leaf? (Multiple Choice)
  6. Are there obstacles around the tree, such as buildings or other large trees that may affect the amount of light the tree gets? (Multiple Choice)



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