Isoprenoid emission variation of Norway spruce across a European latitudinal transect

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Norway spruce (Picea abies) is one of the dominant tree species in the European boreal zone with the capacity to grow over large areas within Europe. It is an important emitter of biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs), which can act as precursors of photochemical smog and ozone and contribute to the formation and growth of secondary organic aerosols (SOA) in the atmosphere. Isoprenoid emissions were measured from Norway spruce trees at seven different sites, distributed from Ljubljana in Slovenia to Piikkiö in Finland. Four of the sites were part of a network of genetically identical spruce trees and contained two separate provenances. The remaining three sites were part of other networks which have been used to conduct studies in the European boreal zone. There were minimal differences in the standardized emission rates between sites and across latitudes. The emission profile differed between provenances and sites, but there were not any distinct patterns which could be connected to a change in latitude. By using genetically identical trees and comparing the emission rates between sites and with genetically different trees, it was observed that the emission patterns were mostly influenced by genetics. But in order to confirm this possible stability of the relative emission profile based on genetics, more studies need to be performed. The effects of branch height, season and variation between years on observed emission pattern variations were also investigated. There were indications of potential influences of all three factors. However, due to different experimental setups between measurement campaigns, it is difficult to draw any robust conclusions.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAtmospheric Environment
Pages (from-to)45-57
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017

    Research areas

  • Biogenic volatile organic compounds, Emission profile, Genetic diversity, Latitudinal gradient, Picea abies

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