Monoterpene emissions from ornamental trees in urban areas: A case study of Barcelona, Spain

S. M. Noe, J. Peñuelas, Ü Niinemets

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    26 Citations (Scopus)


    Research on biogenic volatile organic compound (BVOC) emissions has mainly focused on native species in natural ecosystems. However, much of the ozone and aerosol formation occurs in city atmospheres due to BVOC emissions by local urban vegetation. Plant composition of urban habitats is often dominated by non-native ornamental plant species, for which only limited data on BVOC emissions are available. To gain insight into the influence of ornamental vegetation on the urban atmospheric reactivity in Barcelona, Spain, we studied volatile isoprenoid emissions in 11 widespread ornamental tree species (three conifers and nine angiosperms). We found significant monoterpene emissions in all studied species, with normalized emission potentials (T = 30 °C, photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD) = 1000 μmol·m -2·s-1) ranging between 0.2 to 110 μg·g-1 (dry weight) h-1. Depending on species, the emissions were dominated by α- and β-pinene, myrcene, α- and β-phellandrene, carene, limonene and eucalyptol. These data demonstrate that ornamental plants may significantly contribute to the BVOC load in urban atmospheres and also underscore the importance of broadleaf angiosperms as significant monoterpene emitters. © 2008 German Botanical Society and The Royal Botanical Society of the Netherlands.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)163-169
    JournalPlant Biology
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2008


    • Biogenic volatile organic compounds
    • Emission potentials
    • Introduced plant species
    • Isoprenoids
    • Urban habitats


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