Anni Vanhatalo's defense on 4th of May

Anni Vanhatalo is defending her PhD thesis "Long-term dynamics of BVOC production, storage and emission in boreal Scots pine" on 4th of May at 12 o'clock, in Viikki, auditorium B2 (Latokartanonkaari 7).

The opponent of the dissertation is Associate Professor Mark Potosnak from DePaul University, Chicago, USA, and Professor Jaana Bäck will act as a kustos.  The dissertation will be published as a part of Dissertations Forestales series, and can already be found in E-thesis services

Everycody is welcome also to opponent Mark Potosnak's lecture "Isoprene emissions from forests in a changing world" on 3rd of May at 14:15 in seminar room 11 (Viikki, Forest Sciences building, 3rd floor).

Dissertation summary:

monoterpene, methanol, resin, stem, synthase activity, measuring chamber

Plants synthesise thousands of biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) as part of their secondary metabolism. Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) particularly produces mono- and sesquiterpenes, which are mainly stored in oleoresin in resin ducts. In this study, the monoterpene emission rate from stems was found to increase as a function of increasing resin pressure, which was positively correlated with the air temperature and foliage transpiration rate.

Monoterpene synthase activity describes the maximum monoterpene production potential. The seasonal cycle and needle age were observed to explain the majority of the variation in needle monoterpene synthase activities, monoterpene storage pools and monoterpene emissions from shoots. Variation in the monoterpene concentration between seasons, different needle age classes and different trees was observed to be minor. Monoterpene synthase activity was higher in <1-year-old needles compared to older ones. Within a single tree, the compound-specific composition of monoterpene synthase activities and monoterpene storages was not reflected in the composition of emissions. For example, the share of δ-3-carene was substantially higher in the emissions than in the storage pools and synthase activities.

An automated enclosure measurement system including a proton transfer reaction mass spectrometer was utilized to follow the VOC emissions from the woody compartments of trees over several years. This was the first study to quantify such emissions for an extended period. Scots pine stems were observed to emit monoterpenes and methanol into the ambient air. The fluxes displayed a seasonal cycle: methanol emissions were highest in the midst of the growing season, whereas monoterpene emissions peaked not only on the hottest summer days, but also in the spring when the photosynthetic capacity of trees recovered. The emissions of some monoterpenes exhibited distinct diurnal patterns in their enantiomeric compositions. The above-canopy air terpene concentrations reflected the emission rates from trees, the atmospheric reactivities of the compounds, the tree species composition of the measurement site and the abundances of different tree chemotypes.