The objective of this study is to investigate hydrocarbon species and amounts released by red mangrove foliage and determine if these quantities warrant future research on atmospheric chemical processing of these compounds. The field investigation took place during July 2001 at Key Largo, Florida Bay, Florida. Foliage still attached to plants was enclosed in cuvettes while air of known flow rates circulated around leaves to study hydrocarbon emissions. Cuvette air samples underwent gas chromatographic analyses to determine species and amounts of hydrocarbons released by mangrove foliage. Red mangrove foliage emits isoprene and trace amounts of the monoterpenes of α-pinene, β-pinene, camphene, and d-limonene. The mangrove flowers released these latter compounds in amounts ranging from 0.5 to 10 mg (monoterpene) per gram of dry biomass per hour. These fluxes are normalized to the foliage temperature of 30 °C. When normalized to the foliage temperature of 30 °C and light levels of 1000 µmol m−2 s−1, isoprene emission rates as high as 0.092 ± 0.109 µg (isoprene) per gram of dry biomass per hour were measured. Compared to terrestrial forest ecosystems, red mangroves are low isoprene emitters. During peak flowering periods in the summertime, however, red mangroves may emit sufficient amounts of monoterpenes to alter ground-level ozone concentrations and contribute to biogenic aerosol formation.
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