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Seasonal variations in terpene emission factors of dominant species in four ecosystems in NE Spain


We studied the daily patterns in the rates of foliar terpene emissions by four typical species from the Mediterranean region in two days of early spring and two days of summer in 4 localities of increasing biomass cover in Northern Spain. The species studied were Thymelaea tinctoria (in Monegros), Quercus coccifera (in Garraf), Quercus ilex (in Prades) and Fagus sylvatica (in Montseny). Of the total 43 VOCs detected, 23 were monoterpenes, 5 sesquiterpenes and 15 were not terpenes. Sesquiterpenes were the main terpenes emitted from T. tinctoria. Total VOC emission rates were on average about 15 times higher in summer than in early spring. The maximum rates of emission were recorded around midday. Emissions nearly stopped in the dark. No significant differences were found for nocturnal total terpene emission rates between places and seasons. The seasonal variations in the rate of terpene emissions and in their chemical composition can be explained mainly by dramatic changes in emission factors (emission capacity) associated in some cases, such as for beech trees, with very different foliar ontogenical characteristics between spring and summer. The results show that temperature and light-standardised emission rates were on average about 15 times higher in summer than in early spring, which, corroborating other works, calls to attention when applying the same emission factor in modelling throughout the different seasons of the year. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

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