|Modeling the irradiance dependency of the quantum efficiency of potosynthesis|Silsbe, G.M.; Kromkamp, J.C. (2012). Modeling the irradiance dependency of the quantum efficiency of potosynthesis. Limnol. Oceanogr., Methods 10: 645-652. dx.doi.org/10.4319/lom.2012.10.645
In: Limnology and Oceanography: Methods. American Society of Limnology and Oceanography: Waco, Tex.. ISSN 1541-5856, more
Measures of the quantum efficiency of photosynthesis (phi(PSII)) across an irradiance (E) gradient are an increasingly common physiological assay and alternative to traditional photosynthetic-irradiance (PE) assays. Routinely, the analysis and interpretation of these data are analogous to PE measurements. Relative electron transport rates (rETR = E x phi(PSII)) are computed and fit to a PE curve to retrieve physiologically meaningful PE parameters. This widespread approach is statistically flawed as the response variable (rETR) is explicitly dependent on the predictor variable (E). Alternatively the E-dependency of phi(PSII) can be modeled directly while retaining the desired PE parameters by normalizing a given PE model to E. This manuscript presents a robust analysis in support of this alternative procedure. First, we demonstrate that scaling phi(PSII) to rETR unnecessarily amplifies the measurement error of phi(PSII) and using a Monte-Carlo analysis on synthetic data induces significantly higher uncertainty in computed PE parameters relative to modeling the E-dependency of phi(PSII) directly. Next a large dataset is simultaneously fitted to four PE models implemented in their original and E-normalized forms. Four statistical criteria used to evaluate the efficacy of nonlinear models demonstrate improved model fits and more precise PE parameters when data are modeled as E-dependent changes in phi(PSII). The analysis presented in this manuscript clearly demonstrates that modeling the E-dependency of phi(PSII) directly should be the norm for interpreting active fluorescence measures.