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Atmospheric degradation of ecologically important biogenic volatiles: investigating the ozonolysis of (E)-β-ocimene, isomers of α and β-farnesene, α-terpinene and 6-methyl-5-hepten-2-one, and their gas-phase products

Touhami, Dalila; Mofikoya, Adedayo O.; Girling, Robbie D.; Langford, Ben ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6968-5197; Misztal, Pawel K. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1060-1750; Pfrang, Christian. 2024 Atmospheric degradation of ecologically important biogenic volatiles: investigating the ozonolysis of (E)-β-ocimene, isomers of α and β-farnesene, α-terpinene and 6-methyl-5-hepten-2-one, and their gas-phase products. Journal of Chemical Ecology. 14, pp. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10886-023-01467-6

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Abstract/Summary

Biogenic volatile organic compounds (bVOCs), synthesised by plants, are important mediators of ecological interactions that can also undergo a series of reactions in the atmosphere. Ground-level ozone is a secondary pollutant generated through sunlight-driven reactions between nitrogen oxides (NOx) and VOCs. Its levels have increased since the industrial revolution and reactions involving ozone drive many chemical processes in the troposphere. While ozone precursors often originate in urban areas, winds may carry these hundreds of kilometres, causing ozone formation to also occur in less populated rural regions. Under elevated ozone conditions, ozonolysis of bVOCs can result in quantitative and qualitative changes in the gas phase, reducing the concentrations of certain bVOCs and resulting in the formation of other compounds. Such changes can result in disruption of bVOC-mediated behavioural or ecological interactions. Through a series of gas-phase experiments using Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS) and Proton Transfer Reaction Mass Spectrometry (PTR-MS), we investigated the products and their yields from the ozonolysis of a range of ubiquitous bVOCs, which were selected because of their importance in mediating ecological interactions such as pollinator and natural enemy attraction and plant-to-plant communication, namely: (E)-β-ocimene, isomers of α and β-farnesene, α-terpinene and 6-methyl-5-hepten-2-one. New products from the ozonolysis of these compounds were identified, and the formation of these compounds is consistent with terpene-ozone oxidation mechanisms. We present the degradation mechanism of our model bVOCs and identify their reaction products. We discuss the potential ecological implications of the degradation of each bVOC and of the formation of reaction products.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): https://doi.org/10.1007/s10886-023-01467-6
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Atmospheric Chemistry and Effects (Science Area 2017-)
ISSN: 0098-0331
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Open Access paper - full text available via Official URL link.
Additional Keywords: ozonolysis, biogenic volatile organic compounds, reaction products, gas phase, gas chromatography mass spectrometry, proton transfer reaction mass spectrometry
NORA Subject Terms: Atmospheric Sciences
Date made live: 11 Jan 2024 16:01 +0 (UTC)
URI: https://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/536625

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