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Article << Previous     |         Contents Vol 7(6)

Isoprene emission from phytoplankton monocultures: the relationship with chlorophyll-a, cell volume and carbon content

B. Bonsang A G, V. Gros A, I. Peeken B D E, N. Yassaa C F, K. Bluhm B, E. Zoellner B, R. Sarda-Esteve A and J. Williams C

A Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement (LSCE), Institut Pierre Simon Laplace (IPSL), laboratoire CEA/CNRS/UVSQ, CE Saclay, Orme des Merisiers, F-91191 Gif-sur-Yvette, France.
B IFM-GEOMAR Leibniz Institut for Marine Sciences, Marine Biogeochemie, Dienstgebäude Westufer, Duesternbrooker Weg 20, D-24105 Kiel, Germany.
C Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Atmospheric Chemistry Department, Johann Joachim Becher Weg 27, D-55128 Mainz, Germany.
D Center for Marine Environmental Sciences (MARUM), Leobener Strasse, D-28359 Bremen, Germany.
E Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Biological Oceanography, Am Handelshafen 12, D-27570 Bremerhaven, Germany.
F Laboratoire d’Analyse Organique Fonctionnelle, Faculty of Chemistry, University of Sciences and Technology Houari Boumediene (USTHB), BP 32 El-Alia Bab-Ezzouar,16111 Algiers, Algeria.
G Corresponding author. Email: bernard.bonsang@lsce.ipsl.fr

Environmental Chemistry 7(6) 554-563 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/EN09156
Submitted: 1 December 2009  Accepted: 19 October 2010   Published: 21 December 2010

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Environmental context. Isoprene, a natural product of both terrestrial vegetation and marine organisms, is rapidly oxidised in the atmosphere, and thereby plays a key role in the regional budget of oxidants. Although isoprene production from terrestrial plants has been extensively investigated, production processes and emission rates from marine species are still poorly understood. We present results from laboratory experiments showing that isoprene is emitted from living phytoplankton cells at variable rates depending on the light intensity, cell volume, and carbon content of the plankton cells.

Abstract. We report here isoprene emission rates determined from various phytoplankton cultures incubated under PAR light which was varied so as to simulate a natural diel cycle. Phytoplankton species representative of different phytoplankton functional types (PFTs) namely: cyanobacteria, diatoms, coccolithophorides, and chlorophytes have been studied. Biomass normalised isoprene emission rates presented here relative to the chlorophyll-a (Chl-a) content of the cultures showed that the two cyanobacteria (Synechococcus and Trichodesmium) were the strongest emitters with emission rates in the range of 17 to 28 µg C5H8 g–1 Chl-a h–1. Diatoms produced isoprene in a significantly lower emission range: 3 to 7.5 µg C5H8 g–1 Chl-a h–1 and Dunaliella tertiolecta was by far the lowest emitter of our investigated plankton cultures. Despite the group specific differences observed, a high emission rate variance was observed to occur within one phytoplankton group. However, a combination of literature and our own data showed a clear relationship between the actual cell volume and the isoprene emission rates. This relationship could be a valuable tool for future modelling approaches of global isoprene emissions.

Additional keywords: ocean, sea–air exchanges.


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