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Assessment of volatile organic compound emissions from ecosystems of China


Isoprene, monoterpene, and other volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from grasslands, shrublands, forests, and peatlands in China were characterized to estimate their regional magnitudes and to compare these emissions with those from landscapes of North America, Europe, and Africa. Ecological and VOC emission sampling was conducted at 52 sites centered in and around major research stations located in seven different regions of China: Inner Mongolia (temperate), Changbai Mountain (boreal-temperate), Beijing Mountain (temperate), Dinghu Mountain (subtropical), Ailao Mountain (subtropical), Kunming (subtropical), and Xishuangbanna (tropical). Transects were used to sample plant species and growth form composition, leafy (green) biomass, and leaf area in forests representing nearly all the major forest types of China. Leafy biomass was determined using generic algorithms based on tree diameter, canopy structure, and absolute coyer. Measurements of VOC emissions were made on 386 of the 541 recorded species using a portable photo-ionization detector method. For 105 species, VOC emissions were also measured using a flow-through leaf cuvette sampling/gas chromatography analysis method. Results indicate that isoprene and monoterpene emissions, as well as leafy biomass, vary systematically along gradients of ecological succession in the same manner found in previous studies in the United States, Canada, and Africa. Applying these results to a regional VOC emissions model, we arrive at a value of 21 Tg C for total annual biogenic VOC emissions from China, compared to 5 Tg C of VOCs released annually from anthropogenic sources there. The isoprene and monoterpene emissions are nearly the same as those reported for Europe, which is comparable in size to China. Copyright 2002 by the American Geophysical Union.

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