Variability of BVOC emissions from a Mediterranean mixed forest in southern France with a focus on Quercus pubescens
Abstract. We aimed at quantifying biogenic volatile organic compound (BVOC) emissions in June from three Mediterranean species located at the O3HP site (southern France): Quercus pubescens, Acer monspessulanum and C. coggygria (for isoprene only). As Q. pubescens was shown to be the main BVOC emitter with isoprene representing ≈ 99% of the carbon emitted as BVOC, we mainly focused on this species. C. coggygria was found to be a non-isoprene emitter (no other BVOCs were investigated).
To fully understand both the canopy effect on Q. pubescens isoprene emissions and the inter-individual variability (tree to tree and within canopy), diurnal variations of isoprene were investigated from nine branches (seven branches located to the top of canopy at ≈ 4 m above ground level (a.g.l.), and two inside the canopy at ≈ 2 m a.g.l.).
The Q. pubescens daily mean isoprene emission rate (ERd) fluctuated between 23 and 98 μgC gDM−1 h−1. Q. pubescens daily mean net assimilation (Pn) ranged between 5.4 and 13.8, and 2.8 and 6.4 μmol CO2 m−2 s−1 for sunlit and shaded branches respectively. Both ERd and isoprene emission factors (Is), assessed according to Guenther et al. (1993) algorithm, varied by a factor of 4.3 among the sunlit branches. While sunlit branches ERd was clearly higher than for shaded branches, there was a non-significant variability of Is (59 to 77 μgC gDM−1 h−1). Diurnal variations of isoprene emission rates (ERs) for sunlit branches were also investigated. ERs were detected at dawn 2 h after Pn became positive and were mostly exponentially dependent on Pn. Diurnal variations of ERs were not equally well described throughout the day by temperature (CT) and light (CL) parameters according to G93 algorithm. Temperature had more impact than photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) on the morning emissions increase, and ER was no longer correlated to CL × CT between solar noon (maximum ER) and mid-afternoon, possibly due to thermal stress of the plant. A comparison between measured and calculated emissions using two isoprene algorithms (G93 and MEGAN – Model of Emissions of Gases and Aerosols from Nature) highlighted the importance of isoprene emission factor Is value used, and some weakness in assessing isoprene emissions under Mediterranean climate conditions (drought) with current isoprene models.