The effect of ozone on the emission of carbonyls from leaves of adult Fagus sylvatica

Cristian Cojocariu, Peter Escher, Karl Heinz Häberle, Rainer Matyssek, Heinz Rennenberg, Jürgen Kreuzwieser

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Under the site conditions of a temperate forest, the exchange of short-chained oxygenated carbonyls (aldehydes, ketones) was assessed from leaves of adult European beech trees. The crowns of the trees were either exposed to an elevated O3 regime as released by a free-air fumigation system (2 x O3) or to the unchanged O3 regime at the site (1 x O3, 'control'). Daily fluctuations of oxygenated carbonyls were quantified in relation to environmental and physiological factors. In particular, the effect of O3 on carbonyl exchange was studied. Measurements of leaf gas exchange were performed with a dynamic cuvette system, and carbonyl fluxes were determined using 2,4-dinitrophenylhydrazine (DNPH)-coated silica gel cartridges. Leaves mainly emitted acetaldehyde, formaldehyde and acetone. Acetaldehyde dominated the emissions, amounting up to 100 nmol m-2 min-1, followed by formaldehyde (approximately 80 nmol m-2 min-1) and acetone (approximately 60 nmol m-2 min-1). Carbonyl emissions were highest during midday and significantly lowered at night, irrespective of the O3 exposure regime. Trees exposed to 2 x O3 emitted acetaldehyde and acetone at enhanced rates. The findings are of particular significance for future climate change scenarios that assume increased O 3 levels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)603-611
Number of pages9
JournalPlant Cell and Environment
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2005


  • Beech
  • Carbonyl emission
  • Fagus sylvatica
  • Tropospheric ozone


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