• Open Access

Deposition fluxes of terpenes over grassland



[1] Eddy covariance flux measurements were carried out for two subsequent vegetation periods above a temperate mountain grassland in an alpine valley using a proton-transfer-reaction-mass spectrometer (PTR-MS) and a PTR time-of-flight-mass spectrometer (PTR-TOF). In 2008 and during the first half of the vegetation period 2009 the volume mixing ratios (VMRs) for the sum of monoterpenes (MTs) were typically well below 1 ppbv and neither MT emission nor deposition was observed. After a hailstorm in July 2009 an order of magnitude higher amount of terpenes was transported to the site from nearby coniferous forests causing elevated VMRs. As a consequence, deposition fluxes of terpenes to the grassland, which continued over a time period of several weeks without significant reemission, were observed. For days without precipitation the deposition occurred at velocities close to the aerodynamic limit. In addition to monoterpene uptake, deposition fluxes of the sum of sesquiterpenes (SQTs) and the sum of oxygenated terpenes (OTs) were detected. Considering an entire growing season for the grassland (i.e., 1 April to 1 November 2009), the cumulative carbon deposition of monoterpenes reached 276 mg C m−2. This is comparable to the net carbon emission of methanol (329 mg C m−2), which is the dominant nonmethane volatile organic compound (VOC) emitted from this site, during the same time period. It is suggested that deposition of monoterpenes to terrestrial ecosystems could play a more significant role in the reactive carbon budget than previously assumed.