Field measurements of isoprene emission from trees in response to temperature and light

Thomas D. Sharkey, Eric L. Singsaas, Peter J. Vanderveer, Chris Geron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

118 Scopus citations

Abstract

The atmospheric hydrocarbon budget is important for predicting ozone episodes and the effects of pollution mitigation strategies. Isoprene emission from plants is an important part of the atmospheric hydrocarbon budget. We measured isoprene emission capacity at the bottom, middle, and top of the canopies of a white oak (Quercus alba L.) tree and a red oak (Quercus rubra L.) tree growing adjacent to a tower in the Duke University Forest. Leaves at the top of the white oak tree canopy had a three- to fivefold greater capacity for emitting isoprene than leaves at the bottom of the tree canopy. Isoprene emission rate increased with increasing temperature up to about 42 °C. We conclude that leaves at the top of the white oak tree canopy had higher isoprene emission rates because they were exposed to more sunlight, reduced water availability, and higher temperature than leaves at the bottom of the canopy. Between 35 and 40 °C, white oak photosynthesis and stomatal conductance declined, whereas red oak (Quercus rubra) photosynthesis and stomatal conductance increased over this range. Red oak had lower rates of isoprene emission than white oak, perhaps reflecting the higher stomatal conductance that would keep leaves cool. The concentration of isoprene inside the leaf was estimated with a simplified form of the equation used to estimate CO2 inside leaves.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)649-654
Number of pages6
JournalTree physiology
Volume16
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1996

Keywords

  • isoprene
  • Quercus alba
  • Quercus rubra
  • red oak
  • temperature
  • white oak

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