, Volume 55, Issue 1, pp 81-102
Date: 01 Aug 2006

Terpene emissions from European beech (shape Fagus sylvatica~L.): Pattern and Emission Behaviour Over two Vegetation Periods

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The source strength of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted by vegetation is of great interest for the understanding of processes in atmospheric chemistry and climate change. In this study terpene emissions from branches of European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) were studied in a deciduous forest. Using the branch enclosure technique changes in the emission pattern and the variation of emission rates over the year were investigated over two consecutive vegetation periods. More than 10 monoterpene compounds were found in the emissions, among which sabinene dominates. For most compounds the emission pattern changed only slightly over the year. Interestingly, two compounds tentatively identified as para-cymene and cis-ocimene showed differences in the emission behaviour in late summer compared to the other terpenes. In contrast to previous studies our investigation characterise European beech as a strong emitter. For the main compounds the emission rates changed up to two orders of magnitude as a function of temperature and light over the day. In general, highest emission rates were observed in summer and lowest in fall. A seasonality was characterized by a temperature independent decline of emissions in late summer, resulting in changes of the standard emission rate on the order of one magnitude. A standard emission factor of up to 3.5 nmol m−2s−1 for the sum of measured terpenes was calculated. No emissions were found in early spring even though leaves were fully developed and temperature and light conditions were moderate. The results underline the importance of characterising the annual variation of the emission behaviour. Especially for the up-scaling to global VOC emissions, seasonal influences have to be considered to achieve realistic emission inventories.