Articles | Volume 14, issue 11
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 14, 5495–5512, 2014
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 14, 5495–5512, 2014

Research article 04 Jun 2014

Research article | 04 Jun 2014

Eddy covariance fluxes and vertical concentration gradient measurements of NO and NO2 over a ponderosa pine ecosystem: observational evidence for within-canopy chemical removal of NOx

K.-E. Min*,1, S. E. Pusede2, E. C. Browne2,**, B. W. LaFranchi2,***, and R. C. Cohen2,1 K.-E. Min et al.
  • 1University of California at Berkeley, Department of Earth and Planetary Science, Berkeley, USA
  • 2University of California at Berkeley, Department of Chemistry, Berkeley, USA
  • *now at: NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory and Cooperative Institute for Research
    in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder, USA
  • **now at: Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, USA
  • ***now at: Lawrence Livermore National Lab, Center for Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (CAMS), Livermore, USA

Abstract. Exchange of NOx (NO+NO2) between the atmosphere and biosphere is important for air quality, climate change, and ecosystem nutrient dynamics. There are few direct ecosystem-scale measurements of the direction and rate of atmosphere–biosphere exchange of NOx. As a result, a complete description of the processes affecting NOx following emission from soils and/or plants as they transit from within the plant/forest canopy to the free atmosphere remains poorly constrained and debated. Here, we describe measurements of NO and NO2 fluxes and vertical concentration gradients made during the Biosphere Effects on AeRosols and Photochemistry EXperiment 2009. In general, during daytime we observe upward fluxes of NO and NO2 with counter-gradient fluxes of NO. We find that NOx fluxes from the forest canopy are smaller than calculated using observed flux–gradient relationships for conserved tracers and also smaller than measured soil NO emissions. We interpret these differences as primarily due to chemistry converting NOx to higher nitrogen oxides within the forest canopy, which might be part of a mechanistic explanation for the "canopy reduction factor" applied to soil NOx emissions in large-scale models.

Final-revised paper