Articles | Volume 11, issue 14
Research article
19 Jul 2011
Research article |  | 19 Jul 2011

In situ measurements of isoprene and monoterpenes within a south-east Asian tropical rainforest

C. E. Jones, J. R. Hopkins, and A. C. Lewis

Abstract. Biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) emitted from tropical rainforests comprise a substantial fraction of global atmospheric VOC emissions, however there are only relatively limited measurements of these species in tropical rainforest regions. We present observations of isoprene, α-pinene, camphene, Δ-3-carene, γ-terpinene and limonene, as well as oxygenated VOCs (OVOCs) of biogenic origin such as methacrolein, in ambient air above a tropical rainforest in Malaysian Borneo during the Oxidant and Particle Photochemical Processes above a south-east Asian tropical rainforest (OP3) project in 2008. Daytime composition was dominated by isoprene, with an average mixing ratio of the order of ~1 ppb. γ-terpinene, limonene and camphene were the most abundant monoterpenes, with average daytime mixing ratios of 102, 71 and 66 ppt respectively, and with an average monoterpene toisoprene ratio of 0.3 during sunlit hours, compared to 2.0 at night. Limonene and camphene abundances were seen to be related to both temperature and light conditions. In contrast, γ-terpinene emission continued into the late afternoon/evening, under relatively low temperature and light conditions. The contributions of isoprene, monoterpenes and other classes of VOC to the volatile carbon budget and OH reactivity have been summarised for this rainforest location. We observe good agreement between surface and aircraft measurements of boundary layer isoprene and methacrolein above the natural rainforest, suggesting that the ground-level observations are broadly representative of isoprene emissions from this region.

Final-revised paper