Strong isoprene emission response to temperature in tundra vegetation

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Emissions of biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) are a crucial component of biosphere–atmosphere interactions. In northern latitudes, climate change is amplified by feedback processes in which BVOCs have a recognized, yet poorly quantified role, mainly due to a lack of measurements and concomitant modeling gaps. Hence, current Earth system models mostly rely on temperature responses measured on vegetation from lower latitudes, rendering their predictions highly uncertain. Here, we show how tundra isoprene emissions respond vigorously to temperature increases, compared to model results. Our unique dataset of direct eddy covariance ecosystem-level isoprene measurements in two contrasting ecosystems exhibited Q10 (the factor by which the emission rate increases with a 10 °C rise in temperature) temperature coefficients of up to 20.8, that is, 3.5 times the Q10 of 5.9 derived from the equivalent model calculations. Crude estimates using the observed temperature responses indicate that tundra vegetation could enhance their isoprene emissions by up to 41% (87%)—that is, 46% (55%) more than estimated by models—with a 2 °C (4 °C) warming. Our results demonstrate that tundra vegetation possesses the potential to substantially boost its isoprene emissions in response to future rising temperatures, at rates that exceed the current Earth system model predictions.
Udgave nummer38
Antal sider7
StatusUdgivet - 2022

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