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Climatic, Biological, and Land Cover Controls on the Exchange of Gas-Phase Semivolatile Chemical Pollutants between Forest Canopies and the Atmosphere

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journal contribution
posted on 22.02.2016, 04:00 by Luca Nizzetto, Judith A. Perlinger
An ecophysiological model of a structured broadleaved forest canopy was coupled to a chemical fate model of the air–canopy exchange of gaseous semivolatile chemicals to dynamically assess the short-term (hours) and medium term (days to season) air–canopy exchange and the influence of biological, climatic, and land cover drivers on the dynamics of the air–canopy exchange and on the canopy storage for airborne semivolatile pollutants. The chemical fate model accounts for effects of short-term variations in air temperature, wind speed, stomatal opening, and leaf energy balance, all as a function of layer in the canopy. Simulations showed the potential occurrence of intense short/medium term re-emission of pollutants having log KOA up to 10.7 from the canopy as a result of environmental forcing. In addition, relatively small interannual variations in seasonally averaged air temperature, canopy biomass, and precipitation can produce relevant changes in the canopy storage capacity for the chemicals. It was estimated that possible climate change related variability in environmental parameters (e.g., an increase of 2 °C in seasonally averaged air temperature in combination with a 10% reduction in canopy biomass due to, e.g., disturbance or acclimatization) may cause a reduction in canopy storage capacity of up to 15–25%, favoring re-emission and potential for long-range atmospheric transport. On the other hand, an increase of 300% in yearly precipitation can increase canopy sequestration by 2–7% for the less hydrophobic compounds.