Portable chlorophyll fluorometers have made it possible to evaluate the photosynthetic efficiency of photosystem 11 for vegetable crops under ambient conditions. A sampling protocol was first established to eliminate variability due to positioning of the fiber optics in relation to the leaf, leaf selection, and natural environmental variability. Fluorescence parameters of the quantum yield of noncyclic electron transport (DF/Fm') and electron transport rate (ETR) were taken from several economically important vegetables under ambient conditions between 11 and 14 h. The objective of the second part of the study was to conduct in situ chlorophyll fluorescence and biomass determinations as affected by salt stress and N deficiency. DF/Fm' and ETR were studied in rhizobium inoculated, noninoculated and inorganic N-fed soybean and differences in fluorescence were related to yield. The influence that salt stress, and several N rates have on fluorescence photochemical quenching (qP) and nonphotochemical quenching (qN), NPQ ([Fm-Fm']/Fm'), DF/Fm' and ETR for hydroponically grown lettuce will also be presented.