Browsing by Author "Taipale, Risto"

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  • Taipale, Risto (Helsingin yliopisto, 2011)
    Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are emitted into the atmosphere from natural and anthropogenic sources, vegetation being the dominant source on a global scale. Some of these reactive compounds are deemed major contributors or inhibitors to aerosol particle formation and growth, thus making VOC measurements essential for current climate change research. This thesis discusses ecosystem scale VOC fluxes measured above a boreal Scots pine dominated forest in southern Finland. The flux measurements were performed using the micrometeorological disjunct eddy covariance (DEC) method combined with proton transfer reaction mass spectrometry (PTR-MS), which is an online technique for measuring VOC concentrations. The measurement, calibration, and calculation procedures developed in this work proved to be well suited to long-term VOC concentration and flux measurements with PTR-MS. A new averaging approach based on running averaged covariance functions improved the determination of the lag time between wind and concentration measurements, which is a common challenge in DEC when measuring fluxes near the detection limit. The ecosystem scale emissions of methanol, acetaldehyde, and acetone were substantial. These three oxygenated VOCs made up about half of the total emissions, with the rest comprised of monoterpenes. Contrary to the traditional assumption that monoterpene emissions from Scots pine originate mainly as evaporation from specialized storage pools, the DEC measurements indicated a significant contribution from de novo biosynthesis to the ecosystem scale monoterpene emissions. This thesis offers practical guidelines for long-term DEC measurements with PTR-MS. In particular, the new averaging approach to the lag time determination seems useful in the automation of DEC flux calculations. Seasonal variation in the monoterpene biosynthesis and the detailed structure of a revised hybrid algorithm, describing both de novo and pool emissions, should be determined in further studies to improve biological realism in the modelling of monoterpene emissions from Scots pine forests. The increasing number of DEC measurements of oxygenated VOCs will probably enable better estimates of the role of these compounds in plant physiology and tropospheric chemistry. Keywords: disjunct eddy covariance, lag time determination, long-term flux measurements, proton transfer reaction mass spectrometry, Scots pine forests, volatile organic compounds