Two Tree Species Photosynthetic Health/Pattern Comparison 3


For this project, we are looking to observe the difference in photosynthetic properties and measurements between leaves on the outside of the canopy and inside of the canopy in order to see if there is a difference in properties such as PHI II, LEF,and PQ SPAD. We are then comparing two different angiosperm species: Ulmus propinqua and Malus 'Donald' Wyman, which are located in a similar area of campus, so should receive similar light.

Using these variables, we will first see if the inner canopy leaves have photosynthetic similarities compared to the outer canopy, and then compare the two species to see if they have similar patterns, or if one is more photosynthetically efficient than the other. Finding a potential pattern between two different trees in the same environment could be carried on by other researchers in other areas.

To avoid bias and to have enough samples, using a MultispeQ and tablet, we will take 32 total samples per tree, four leaves sampled in each quadrant (north, south, east, west), in inside and outside (16 out and 16 in). We will take 64 samples total from each species (2 Malus and 2 Ulmus). Total of 128 samples per day. The process of taking 128 samples a day took a little over an hour, and had to be performed on 3 different days a week, during mid-day.

The main considerations for choosing our trees of study was that they are both angiosperms that receive the same amount of light and conditions during the day. Other factors that could account for difference in photosynthetic patterns could be the difference in leaf composition or appearance, the fact that one tree is six years older than the other, or the fact that both trees have leaves with some form of disease or predation.

In order to analyze the data to see if the quadrants are able to be compared, ANOVA and t-tests must be conducted in order to see if the means of the various measurements, such as LEF, SPAD, and PHI II, are considered the same. The measurements can then be compared to the other quadrants and trees, and a definite comparison can be made.


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. Quadrant being Studied (Multiple Choice)
  2. What is the tree code? (Multiple Choice)
  3. Which Tree is Sampled (Multiple Choice)
  4. In or out? (Multiple Choice)
  5. Which Leaf is Sampled (Multiple Choice)



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