Methanol emissions from maize: Ontogenetic dependence to varying light conditions and guttation as an additional factor constraining the flux
du Jardin, P.
Earth and related Environmental sciences
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Because of its high abundance and long lifetime compared to other volatile organic compounds in the atmosphere, methanol (CH3OH) plays an important role in atmospheric chemistry. Even though agricultural crops are believed to be a large source of methanol, emission inventories from those crop ecosystems are still scarce and little information is available concerning the driving mechanisms for methanol production and emission at different developmental stages of the plants/leaves. This study focuses on methanol emissions from Zea mays L. (maize), which is vastly cultivated throughout the world. Flux measurements have been performed on young plants, almost fully grown leaves and fully grown leaves, enclosed in dynamic flow-through enclosures in a temperature and light-controlled environmental chamber. Strong differences in the response of methanol emissions to variations in PPFD (Photosynthetic Photon Flux Density) were noticed between the young plants, almost fully grown and fully grown leaves. Moreover, young maize plants showed strong emission peaks following light/dark transitions, for which guttation can be put forward as a hypothetical pathway. Young plants’ average daily methanol fluxes exceeded by a factor of 17 those of almost fully grown and fully grown leaves when expressed per leaf area. Absolute flux values were found to be smaller than those reported in the literature, but in fair agreement with recent ecosystem scale flux measurements above a maize field of the same variety as used in this study. The flux measurements in the current study were used to evaluate the dynamic biogenic volatile organic compound (BVOC) emission model of Niinemets and Reichstein. The modelled and measured fluxes from almost fully grown leaves were found to agree best when a temperature and light dependent methanol production function was applied. However, this production function turned out not to be suitable for modelling the observed emissions from the young plants, indicating that production must be influenced by (an) other parameter(s). This study clearly shows that methanol emission from maize is complex, especially for young plants. Additional studies at different developmental stages of other crop species will be required in order to develop accurate methanol emission algorithms for agricultural crops.
CitationMozaffar, A.; Schoon, N.; Digrado, A.; Bachy, A.; Delaplace, P.; du Jardin, P.; Fauconnier, M.-L.; Aubinet, M.; Heinesch, B.; Amelynck, C. (2017). Methanol emissions from maize: Ontogenetic dependence to varying light conditions and guttation as an additional factor constraining the flux. , Atmospheric Environment, Vol. 152, 405-417, DOI: 10.1016/j.atmosenv.2016.12.041.