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Isoprene emission from moorland: using Scottish field flux measurements to improve European model predictions

Langford, Ben; Cash, James; Vieno, Massimo; Drewer, Julia; Heal, Mathew; Nemitz, Eiko. 2017 Isoprene emission from moorland: using Scottish field flux measurements to improve European model predictions. In: 5th iLEAPS Science Conference, Oxford, UK, 11-14 Sept 2017. (Unpublished)

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Abstract/Summary

Isoprene is a trace gas emitted from the biosphere in huge quantities in response to changes in light and temperature. Once in the atmosphere the isoprene molecule reacts quickly with OH, and in the presence of sunlight and oxides of nitrogen (NOx) can lead to the formation of ground level ozone, a powerful oxidant that causes damage to plants, crops and buildings and is harmful to human health. Significant efforts have been undertaken to understand better the processes that control the emission rates of isoprene from plants and to develop predictive emission algorithms, which underpin air quality and climate models. Here, we present eddy covariance flux measurements of isoprene made above a Scottish moorland, Auchencorth Moss, over a period of several weeks between June and July, 2015. In parallel, individual plants at the site were screened using leaf cuvette measurements in order to identify those species responsible for the observed emission rates. This analysis indicated that the isoprene fluxes at this site can be attributed almost entirely to bryophytes, with the largest emission rates associated with the mosses Sphagnum fallax and Polytrichum strictum. Using the ecosystem-scale flux measurements made we challenge the performance of the commonly used isoprene emission algorithms of Guenther et al. (1993; 2012), which were developed specifically for use with vascular plants, to replicate fluxes from an ecosystem where emissions are dominated by bryophytes. Optimisation of the light response curve used in these algorithms resulted in a much improved reproduction of the observed fluxes. By integrating the optimised emission algorithm into the EMEP model we assess the contribution of isoprene emitted from moorland to episodes of ground level ozone pollution in Europe under both current and future climate scenarios.

Item Type: Publication - Conference Item (Paper)
CEH Sections/Science Areas: Atmospheric Chemistry and Effects (Science Area 2017-)
NORA Subject Terms: Atmospheric Sciences
Date made live: 08 Mar 2018 14:55 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/519454

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