Articles | Volume 13, issue 2
Research article
22 Jan 2013
Research article |  | 22 Jan 2013

Field investigations of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) exchange between plants and the atmosphere

C. Breuninger, F. X. Meixner, and J. Kesselmeier

Abstract. The nitrogen dioxide (NO2) exchange between the atmosphere and needles of Picea abies L. (Norway Spruce) was studied under uncontrolled field conditions using a dynamic chamber system. This system allows measurements of the flux density of the reactive NO-NO2-O3 triad and additionally of the non-reactive trace gases CO2 and H2O. For the NO2 detection a highly NO2 specific blue light converter was used, which was coupled to chemiluminescence detection of the photolysis product NO. This NO2 converter excludes known interferences with other nitrogen compounds, which occur by using more unspecific NO2 converters. Photo-chemical reactions of NO, NO2, and O3 inside the dynamic chamber were considered for the determination of NO2 flux densities, NO2 deposition velocities, as well as NO2 compensation point concentrations. The calculations are based on a bi-variate weighted linear regression analysis (y- and x-errors considered). The NO2 deposition velocities for spruce, based on projected needle area, ranged between 0.07 and 0.42 mm s−1. The calculated NO2 compensation point concentrations ranged from 2.4 ± 9.63 to 29.0 ± 16.30 nmol m−3 (0.05–0.65 ppb) but the compensation point concentrations were all not significant in terms of compensation point concentration is unequal to zero. These data challenge the existence of a NO2 compensation point concentration for spruce. Our study resulted in lower values of NO2 gas exchange flux densities, NO2 deposition velocities and NO2 compensation point concentrations in comparison to most previous studies. It is essential to use a more specific NO2 analyzer than used in previous studies and to consider photo-chemical reactions between NO, NO2, and O3 inside the chamber.

Final-revised paper