Original paper

Effects of intra-genotypic variation, variance with height and time of season on BVOC emissions

Persson, Ylva; Schurgers, Guy; Ekberg, Anna; Holst, Thomas

Meteorologische Zeitschrift Vol. 25 No. 4 (2016), p. 377 - 388

54 references

published: Sep 6, 2016
published online: Mar 10, 2016
manuscript accepted: Oct 27, 2015
manuscript revision received: Oct 27, 2015
manuscript revision requested: Jul 22, 2015
manuscript received: Feb 15, 2015

DOI: 10.1127/metz/2016/0674

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Biogenic Volatile Organic Compounds (BVOCs) are trace gases other than CO2 and CH4 produced and emitted by the biosphere, where the amounts released depend on climatic factors such as temperature and solar irradiation. However, interpretation of leaf-level measurements is currently hampered by factors such as large within-genotypic variability, measurement height and time in the season. A campaign was performed between June and August in 2013 in Taastrup, Denmark to study these uncertainties. BVOC emissions were measured from leaves and needles at heights of 2 m, 5.5 m and 12.5 m in the canopy and for seven trees; four Norway spruces (Picea abies) of which two trees had a budburst approximately a week before the other two, two English oaks (Quercus robur) and one European beech (Fagus sylvatica). Differences in chemical composition and emission strength between June and August were observed between the different trees. English oak's main compound isoprene increased from 62–74 % of the total emission in June to approximately 97 % in August, which is linked to leaf development over the summer season. The total emission from all measured spruce trees decreased from July to August, but without a loss in the diversity of emitted compounds. The trees showed indications of drought stress as there was a period without precipitation lasting 21 days during the study. There were no differences in emission patterns within all of the measured Norway spruces. For measurement height, there was only a significant difference in emission pattern for European beech as the top of the canopy emitted 7–9 times more in relation to lower canopy levels. Our results suggest there was little within-genotype variability and the wide spacing between trees had an influence on the individual emission patterns. These results are important in order to understand the significance of within-genotypic variation, canopy height and seasonal development in relation to the emission patterns of the selected species. Furthermore, it will provide helpful insights for modelers who wish to improve their emission estimates.


BVOCisoprenemonoterpeneintra-genotype variabilitycanopy heighttime of season