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The secondary impacts that climate change may have on the interactions between forests and the atmosphere through forest disturbances is of increasing interest as the climate continues to change. Anthropogenic climate change, which is a direct result of coal and fossil fuel emissions, is likely to impact forest ecology through increased temperatures and extreme precipitation events, thus increasing the frequency and severity of climate-induced forest disturbances. Forest disturbances may have a secondary impact on the production and emission of biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOC) within forests. In the presence of oxides of nitrogen (NOx) produced from fossil fuel emissions, BVOC react to produce ozone (O3), a greenhouse gas (GHG) and potent oxidant. Furthermore, in the presence of atmospheric particles, O3 can interact with the particles to produce smog, thus impacting regional air quality. BVOC produced within forests are responsible for the vast majority (~90%) of VOC emissions in forested regions, with isoprene and terpenes being the most dominant forms. This study looked at the response of white and red pine terpene production to selective and non-selective forest disturbance types. It was found that terpene production in white pine increased with selective forest disturbance and declined over time after a non-selective disturbance. However, in red pine, neither disturbance type was correlated with terpene production. The species-specific terpene production and response to disturbance observed in red and white pine suggest the need for further investigation into the aspects of forest disturbances that elicit a change in terpene production and the underlying physiology within varying tree species.
deHagen, Troy, "The Effects of Climate Change and Forest Disturbances on Terpene Production of White Pine (Pinus strobus) and Red Pine (Pinus resinosa) in Northern Michigan" (2019). Honors Theses. 3101.
Honors Thesis-Open Access