20 Mar 2024
 | 20 Mar 2024

Impact of meteorological conditions on BVOC emission rate from Eastern Mediterranean vegetation under drought

Qian Li, Gil Lerner, Einat Bar, Efraim Lewinsohn, and Eran Tas

Abstract. A comprehensive characterization of drought’s impact on biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOC) emissions is essential for understanding atmospheric chemistry under global climate change, with implications for both air quality and climate model simulation. Currently, the effects of drought on BVOC emissions are not well characterized. Our study aims to test: i) whether instantaneous changes in meteorological conditions can serve as a better proxy for drought-related changes in BVOC emission compared to the absolute values of the meteorological parameters, as indicated in a companion article based on BVOC mixing-ratio measurements; ii) the impact of a plant under drought stress receiving a small amount of precipitation on BVOC emission rate, and on the manner in which the emission rate is influenced by meteorological parameters. To address these objectives, we conducted our study during the warm and dry summer conditions of the Eastern Mediterranean region, focusing on the impact of drought on BVOC emissions from natural vegetation. Specifically, we conducted branch-enclosure sampling measurements in Ramat Hanadiv Nature Park, both under natural drought and after irrigation (equivalent to 5.5–7 mm precipitation), for six selected branches of Phillyrea latifolia, the highest BVOC emitter in this park, in September–October 2020. The samplings were followed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis for BVOCs identification and flux quantification. The results corroborate the finding that instantaneous changes in meteorological parameters, particularly relative humidity (RH), offer the most accurate proxy for BVOC emission rates under drought, compared to the absolute values of either temperature (T) or RH. However, after irrigation, the correlation of the detected BVOC emission rate with the instantaneous changes in RH became significantly more moderate, or even reversed. Our findings highlight that under drought, the instantaneous changes in RH, and to a lesser extent in T, are the best proxy for the emission rate of monoterpenes (MTs) and sesquiterpenes (SQTs), whereas under moderate drought conditions, T or RH serves as the best proxy for MT and SQT emission rate, respectively. In addition, the detected emission rates of MTs and SQTs increased by 150 % and 545 %, respectively, after a small amount of irrigation.

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Qian Li, Gil Lerner, Einat Bar, Efraim Lewinsohn, and Eran Tas

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2024-529', Anonymous Referee #1, 17 Apr 2024
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC1', Eran Tas, 23 May 2024
  • RC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2024-529', Anonymous Referee #2, 20 Apr 2024
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC2', Eran Tas, 23 May 2024
Qian Li, Gil Lerner, Einat Bar, Efraim Lewinsohn, and Eran Tas
Qian Li, Gil Lerner, Einat Bar, Efraim Lewinsohn, and Eran Tas


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Short summary
Our research indicates that instantaneous changes in meteorological parameters better reflect drought-induced changes in the emission rates of biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) from natural vegetation than their absolute values. Additionally, even a small precipitation amount triggered a significant increase in BVOC emissions. These findings highlight the intricate BVOC emission-drought relationship and are crucial for advancing our understanding of BVOCs emission under climate change.