Effects of drought and recovery on soil volatile organic compound fluxes in an experimental rainforest

Pugliese, Giovanni; Ingrisch, Johannes; Meredith, Laura K.; Pfannerstill, Eva Y.; Klüpfel, Thomas; Meeran, Kathiravan; Byron, Joseph; Purser, Gemma ORCID:; Gil-Loaiza, Juliana; van Haren, Joost; Dontsova, Katerina; Kreuzwieser, Jürgen; Ladd, S. Nemiah; Werner, Christiane; Williams, Jonathan. 2023 Effects of drought and recovery on soil volatile organic compound fluxes in an experimental rainforest. Nature Communications, 14, 5064. 13, pp.

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Drought can affect the capacity of soils to emit and consume biogenic volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Here we show the impact of prolonged drought followed by rewetting and recovery on soil VOC fluxes in an experimental rainforest. Under wet conditions the rainforest soil acts as a net VOC sink, in particular for isoprenoids, carbonyls and alcohols. The sink capacity progressively decreases during drought, and at soil moistures below ~19%, the soil becomes a source of several VOCs. Position specific 13C-pyruvate labeling experiments reveal that soil microbes are responsible for the emissions and that the VOC production is higher during drought. Soil rewetting induces a rapid and short abiotic emission peak of carbonyl compounds, and a slow and long biotic emission peak of sulfur-containing compounds. Results show that, the extended drought periods predicted for tropical rainforest regions will strongly affect soil VOC fluxes thereby impacting atmospheric chemistry and climate.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Atmospheric Chemistry and Effects (Science Area 2017-)
ISSN: 2041-1723
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Open Access paper - full text available via Official URL link.
Additional Keywords: atmospheric chemistry, carbon cycle
NORA Subject Terms: Atmospheric Sciences
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Date made live: 09 Nov 2023 12:36 +0 (UTC)

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