Skip to main content
Log in

Isoprene contribution to ozone production under climate change conditions in the French Mediterranean area

Regional Environmental Change Aims and scope Submit manuscript

Cite this article


Tropospheric ozone is a strong oxidant which affects human health, agricultural yields, and ecosystem functioning. Thus, it is very important to understand what factors determine ozone formation in order to control air pollution. It is well known that isoprene participates in ozone formation. In this study, we assess the potential impact of climate change in the Mediterranean region on ozone concentration, through drought-related increase or decrease in isoprene emissions after 1 (short drought scenario—1 year of 35% annual rain restriction) and 3 (long drought scenario—3 repeated years of 35% annual restriction) years of drought stress. Using an original experimental dataset of Downy oak isoprene emissions for several drought conditions and idealized drought scenarios in a modeling framework, we showed that ozone concentrations follow the same pattern than isoprene emissions. The short drought scenario used an isoprene emission factor (which is the standardized emission rate at 30 °C and 1000 μmol m−2 s−1 of photosynthetically active radiation (PAR)) 83% higher compared with natural drought and, thus, ozone concentrations increased by 5–30 μg m−3 (3–17%). The long drought scenario used an isoprene emission factor 26% lower compared with natural drought, and ozone concentrations accordingly decreased by 1–10 μg m−3 (0.6–6%). Our results showed that ozone concentration is affected by drought intensity and duration through modification of isoprene emissions indicating that drought stress should be implemented in models (predicting the BVOC emissions).

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Institutional subscriptions

Fig. 1
Fig. 2


Download references


We are grateful to FR3098 ECCOREV and AnaEE France for the O3HP facilities ( and Paris Diderot University. We are very grateful to J.-P. Orts and I. Reiter for their constant work in the site. We also thank all members of the DFME team from IMBE and particularly S. Greff, S. Dupouyet, and A. Bousquet-Melou for their help during measurements and analysis that contributed to provide the experimental data set. The authors thank the MASSALYA instrumental platform (Aix Marseille Université, for the analysis and measurements of BVOC used in this publication.


This work was supported by the French National Agency for Research (ANR) through the CANOPEE and SecPriMe2 projects (ANR 2010 JCJC 603 01 and ANR-12-BSV7-0016-01) and the CNRS-EC2CO through the ICCRAM project; Europe (FEDER) and ADEME/PACA supported PhD funding.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations



AS, EO, ACG, and CF designed the experiments. AS, DP, AA, and ACG conducted the research, and collected and analyzed the data. CG, JL, and EO obtained the funding to perform the studies. AS, EO, DP, AA, CB, JL, SS, ACG, and CF wrote the manuscript.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Amélie Saunier.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Additional information

Communicated by Christopher Reyer

Publisher’s note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Electronic supplementary material


(DOCX 759 kb)

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Saunier, A., Ormeño, E., Piga, D. et al. Isoprene contribution to ozone production under climate change conditions in the French Mediterranean area. Reg Environ Change 20, 111 (2020).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • DOI: