Journal of Atmospheric Chemistry

, Volume 39, Issue 3, pp 219–233

Exchange of Short-Chain Oxygenated Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) between Plants and the Atmosphere: A Compilation of Field and Laboratory Studies

  • J. Kesselmeier

DOI: 10.1023/A:1010632302076

Cite this article as:
Kesselmeier, J. Journal of Atmospheric Chemistry (2001) 39: 219. doi:10.1023/A:1010632302076


Field and laboratory investigations of the exchange of the short-chain organic acids – formic acid and acetic acid – as well as their homologous aldehydes are discussed. Both acids are substantially released from several plant species. Emission measurements under field conditions are compiled to give an overview of three years of measurements. Emission rates from several tree species were found in the range between zero and 60 nmoles m−2 min−1 for acetic acid and between zero and 90 nmoles m−2 min−1 for formic acid though also a deposition has been observed to orange trees. Investigations under laboratory conditions showed an order of magnitude lower emission rates with significant differences under light and dark conditions, and a deposition was observed under certain conditions. Hence, low emission rates or even a bi-directional exchange, emission as well as deposition have to be taken into account. Further differences between field and laboratory studies are discussed considering age of trees, stress effects and a potential production of acids by photochemical conversion of precursors inside enclosures during sampling. Field data on the exchange of form- and acetaldehyde show a complex behavior. We found emission as well as uptake. The bi-directional exchange is significantly triggered by the ambient mixing ratios of both aldehyde species and exhibits a compensation point. Further studies are needed for generalization of the exchange of these and potentially also for other compounds.

volatile organic compounds biogenic emission biogenic deposition compensation point organic acids formic acid acetic acid carbonyls acetaldehyde formaldehyde 

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Kesselmeier
    • 1
  1. 1.Max-Planck-Institut für ChemieMainzGermany

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