Journal article

Secondary aerosol formation from stress-induced biogenic emissions and possible climate feedbacks

Mentel T, Kleist E, Andres S, Dal Maso M, Hohaus T, Kiendler-Scharr A, Rudich Y, Springer M, Tillmann R, Uerlings R, Wahner A, Wildt J ...see all

Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, vol. 13, issue 17 (2013) pp. 8755-8770

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Atmospheric aerosols impact climate by scattering and absorbing solar
radiation and by acting as ice and cloud condensation nuclei. Biogenic
secondary organic aerosols (BSOAs) comprise an important component of
atmospheric aerosols. Biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs)
emitted by vegetation are the source of BSOAs. Pathogens and insect
attacks, heat waves and droughts can induce stress to plants that may
impact their BVOC emissions, and hence the yield and type of formed
BSOAs, and possibly their climatic effects. This raises questions of
whether stress-induced changes in BSOA formation may attenuate or
amplify effects of climate change. In this study we assess the potential
impact of stress-induced BVOC emissions on BSOA formation for tree
species typical for mixed deciduous and Boreal Eurasian forests. We
studied the photochemical BSOA formation for plants infested by aphids
in a laboratory setup under well-controlled conditions and applied in
addition heat and drought stress. The results indicate that stress
conditions substantially modify BSOA formation and yield. Stress-induced
emissions of sesquiterpenes, methyl salicylate, and C-17-BVOCs increase
BSOA yields. Mixtures including these compounds exhibit BSOA yields
between 17 and 33%, significantly higher than mixtures containing
mainly monoterpenes (4-6% yield). Green leaf volatiles suppress SOA
formation, presumably by scavenging OH, similar to isoprene. By
classifying emission types, stressors and BSOA formation potential, we
discuss possible climatic feedbacks regarding aerosol effects. We
conclude that stress situations for plants due to climate change should
be considered in climate-vegetation feedback mechanisms.

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