The regulation of photosystem I (PSI) redox state under fluctuating light was investigated for four species using P700 measurement and electrochromic shift analysis. Species included the angiosperms Camellia japonica, Bletilla striata and Arabidopsis thaliana and the fern Cyrtomium fortunei. For the first seconds after transition from low to high light, all species showed relatively low levels of the proton gradient (ΔpH) across the thylakoid membranes. At this moment, PSI was highly oxidized in C. japonica and C. fortunei but was over-reduced in B. striata and A. thaliana. In B. striata and A. thaliana, the redox state of PSI was largely dependent on ΔpH. In contrast, the rapid oxidation of P700 in C. japonica was relatively independent of ΔpH, but was mainly dependent on the outflow of electrons to O2 via the water-water cycle. In the fern C. fortunei, PSI redox state was rapidly regulated by the fast photo-reduction of O2 rather than the ΔpH. These results indicate that mechanisms regulating PSI redox state under fluctuating light differ greatly between species. We propose that the water-water cycle is an important mechanism regulating the PSI redox state in angiosperms.