Date of Award

5-2010

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Chemistry

First Advisor

Dr. Steven B. Bertman

Second Advisor

Dr. James J. KiddIe

Third Advisor

Dr. Andre Venter

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Campus Only

Abstract

Estimating emission rates of biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOC) is important to understand the formation of photochemical smog and the contribution of their subsequent oxidized products to the formation of the secondary organic aerosols (SOA). It has been shown for some tree species that BVOC concentration within leaves is proportional to gas-phase emission rate. Measuring needle concentration is faster and easier than measuring emission rates, hence it is possible to measure a large number of samples from a wide area in a short time and to estimate with precision the BVOC content of an area of forest. This study attempted to statistically evaluate the atmospheric effect of BVOC from white pine in northern Michigan forests by measuring BVOC concentration in needles. Needles of white pine were collected from the University of Michigan Biological Station (UMBS) during the summers of 2008 and 2009. Primarily understory trees in an undisturbed forest and an experimentally disturbed forest within 1 km of each other were sampled. Needles were collected from different heights of large white pine canopy trees to assess different light levels. BVOC composition within a changing forest environment and the factors that account for variation are reported.

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