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Atmospheric benzenoid emissions from plants rival those from fossil fuels.

Misztal PK, Hewitt CN, Wildt J, Blande JD, Eller AS, Fares S, Gentner DR, Gilman JB, Graus M, Greenberg J, Guenther AB, Hansel A, Harley P, Huang M, Jardine K, Karl T, Kaser L, Keutsch FN, Kiendler-Scharr A, Kleist E, Lerner BM, Li T, Mak J, Nölscher AC, Schnitzhofer R, Sinha V, Thornton B, Warneke C, Wegener F, Werner C, Williams J, Worton DR, Yassaa N, Goldstein AH - Sci Rep (2015)

Bottom Line: Controlled environment experiments show that plants are able to alter their metabolism to produce and release many benzenoids under stress conditions.The functions of these compounds remain unclear but may be related to chemical communication and protection against stress.We estimate the total global secondary organic aerosol potential from biogenic benzenoids to be similar to that from anthropogenic benzenoids (~10 Tg y(-1)), pointing to the importance of these natural emissions in atmospheric physics and chemistry.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: 1] University of California Berkeley, Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA [2] National Center for Atmospheric Research, Atmospheric Chemistry Division, Boulder, CO 80301, USA.

ABSTRACT
Despite the known biochemical production of a range of aromatic compounds by plants and the presence of benzenoids in floral scents, the emissions of only a few benzenoid compounds have been reported from the biosphere to the atmosphere. Here, using evidence from measurements at aircraft, ecosystem, tree, branch and leaf scales, with complementary isotopic labeling experiments, we show that vegetation (leaves, flowers, and phytoplankton) emits a wide variety of benzenoid compounds to the atmosphere at substantial rates. Controlled environment experiments show that plants are able to alter their metabolism to produce and release many benzenoids under stress conditions. The functions of these compounds remain unclear but may be related to chemical communication and protection against stress. We estimate the total global secondary organic aerosol potential from biogenic benzenoids to be similar to that from anthropogenic benzenoids (~10 Tg y(-1)), pointing to the importance of these natural emissions in atmospheric physics and chemistry.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Field observations of fluxes of biogenic benzenoids show broad range of emissions.Fluxes of biogenic toluene (different species and scales). Large emission rates are typically observed during flowering and phytoplankton bloom. While toluene emissions from phytoplankton (E. huxlei) are an order of magnitude smaller than the emissions from flowering oil palm (E. guineensis) and citrus trees (C. sinensis), the global flux from phytoplankton is expected to be relatively high due to the larger area of oceans.
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f3: Field observations of fluxes of biogenic benzenoids show broad range of emissions.Fluxes of biogenic toluene (different species and scales). Large emission rates are typically observed during flowering and phytoplankton bloom. While toluene emissions from phytoplankton (E. huxlei) are an order of magnitude smaller than the emissions from flowering oil palm (E. guineensis) and citrus trees (C. sinensis), the global flux from phytoplankton is expected to be relatively high due to the larger area of oceans.

Mentions: Figure 2B shows observations of diurnally varying concentrations of toluene above different vegetation canopies at a variety of field locations, with generally higher concentrations in the early morning and early evening and lower concentrations in the middle of the day. The expected atmospheric lifetime of toluene, based on its reactivity with the hydroxyl radical, is a few days, and hence the observed depletion of toluene in above-canopy air during the daytime is most likely due to enhanced dispersion into the boundary layer during the more turbulent daytime compared with nighttime. This is not necessarily indicative of enhanced emissions at nighttime. When we examine data from the direct measurement of toluene fluxes made over different vegetation canopies (Fig. 3), a strong diurnally-varying profile is observed, with maximum emissions occurring during the middle of the day and reduced or zero emissions at night time, consistent with our laboratory experiments.


Atmospheric benzenoid emissions from plants rival those from fossil fuels.

Misztal PK, Hewitt CN, Wildt J, Blande JD, Eller AS, Fares S, Gentner DR, Gilman JB, Graus M, Greenberg J, Guenther AB, Hansel A, Harley P, Huang M, Jardine K, Karl T, Kaser L, Keutsch FN, Kiendler-Scharr A, Kleist E, Lerner BM, Li T, Mak J, Nölscher AC, Schnitzhofer R, Sinha V, Thornton B, Warneke C, Wegener F, Werner C, Williams J, Worton DR, Yassaa N, Goldstein AH - Sci Rep (2015)

Field observations of fluxes of biogenic benzenoids show broad range of emissions.Fluxes of biogenic toluene (different species and scales). Large emission rates are typically observed during flowering and phytoplankton bloom. While toluene emissions from phytoplankton (E. huxlei) are an order of magnitude smaller than the emissions from flowering oil palm (E. guineensis) and citrus trees (C. sinensis), the global flux from phytoplankton is expected to be relatively high due to the larger area of oceans.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4499884&req=5

f3: Field observations of fluxes of biogenic benzenoids show broad range of emissions.Fluxes of biogenic toluene (different species and scales). Large emission rates are typically observed during flowering and phytoplankton bloom. While toluene emissions from phytoplankton (E. huxlei) are an order of magnitude smaller than the emissions from flowering oil palm (E. guineensis) and citrus trees (C. sinensis), the global flux from phytoplankton is expected to be relatively high due to the larger area of oceans.
Mentions: Figure 2B shows observations of diurnally varying concentrations of toluene above different vegetation canopies at a variety of field locations, with generally higher concentrations in the early morning and early evening and lower concentrations in the middle of the day. The expected atmospheric lifetime of toluene, based on its reactivity with the hydroxyl radical, is a few days, and hence the observed depletion of toluene in above-canopy air during the daytime is most likely due to enhanced dispersion into the boundary layer during the more turbulent daytime compared with nighttime. This is not necessarily indicative of enhanced emissions at nighttime. When we examine data from the direct measurement of toluene fluxes made over different vegetation canopies (Fig. 3), a strong diurnally-varying profile is observed, with maximum emissions occurring during the middle of the day and reduced or zero emissions at night time, consistent with our laboratory experiments.

Bottom Line: Controlled environment experiments show that plants are able to alter their metabolism to produce and release many benzenoids under stress conditions.The functions of these compounds remain unclear but may be related to chemical communication and protection against stress.We estimate the total global secondary organic aerosol potential from biogenic benzenoids to be similar to that from anthropogenic benzenoids (~10 Tg y(-1)), pointing to the importance of these natural emissions in atmospheric physics and chemistry.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: 1] University of California Berkeley, Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA [2] National Center for Atmospheric Research, Atmospheric Chemistry Division, Boulder, CO 80301, USA.

ABSTRACT
Despite the known biochemical production of a range of aromatic compounds by plants and the presence of benzenoids in floral scents, the emissions of only a few benzenoid compounds have been reported from the biosphere to the atmosphere. Here, using evidence from measurements at aircraft, ecosystem, tree, branch and leaf scales, with complementary isotopic labeling experiments, we show that vegetation (leaves, flowers, and phytoplankton) emits a wide variety of benzenoid compounds to the atmosphere at substantial rates. Controlled environment experiments show that plants are able to alter their metabolism to produce and release many benzenoids under stress conditions. The functions of these compounds remain unclear but may be related to chemical communication and protection against stress. We estimate the total global secondary organic aerosol potential from biogenic benzenoids to be similar to that from anthropogenic benzenoids (~10 Tg y(-1)), pointing to the importance of these natural emissions in atmospheric physics and chemistry.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus