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Journal Article

Unexpected seasonality in quantity and composition of Amazon rainforest air reactivity


Lavrič,  J. V.
Tall Tower Atmospheric Gas Measurements, Dr. J. Lavrič, Department Biogeochemical Systems, Prof. M. Heimann, Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Nölscher, A. C., Yañez-Serrano, A. M., Wolff, S., de Araujo, A. C., Lavrič, J. V., Kesselmeier, J., et al. (2016). Unexpected seasonality in quantity and composition of Amazon rainforest air reactivity. Nature Communications, 7: 10383. doi:10.1038/ncomms10383.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0029-64C7-C
The hydroxyl radical (OH) removes most atmospheric pollutants from air. The loss frequency of OH radicals due to the combined effect of all gas-phase OH reactive species is a measureable quantity termed total OH reactivity. Here we present total OH reactivity observations in pristine Amazon rainforest air, as a function of season, time-of-day and height (0–80 m). Total OH reactivity is low during wet (10 s−1) and high during dry season (62 s−1). Comparison to individually measured trace gases reveals strong variation in unaccounted for OH reactivity, from 5 to 15% missing in wet-season afternoons to mostly unknown (average 79%) during dry season. During dry-season afternoons isoprene, considered the dominant reagent with OH in rainforests, only accounts for ~20% of the total OH reactivity. Vertical profiles of OH reactivity are shaped by biogenic emissions, photochemistry and turbulent mixing. The rainforest floor was identified as a significant but poorly characterized source of OH reactivity.