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Reduced Sulfur Compound Exchange between the Atmosphere and Tropical Tree Species in Southern Cameroon

Jürgen Kesselmeier, Franz X. Meixner, Uwe Hofmann, Ayité-Lô Ajavon, Stephan Leimbach and Meinrat O. Andreae
Biogeochemistry
Vol. 23, No. 1 (1993), pp. 23-45
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1468914
Page Count: 23
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Reduced Sulfur Compound Exchange between the Atmosphere and Tropical Tree Species in Southern Cameroon
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Abstract

We measured the concentrations of reduced sulfur compounds in the atmospheric boundary layer over an equatorial African rain forest. Results obtained from a dirigible hot air balloon and a tethered balloon system in the early morning hours reflect a multilayered structure of the atmospheric boundary layer with gradients of COS and CS2 indicating an uptake/production of these trace gases by the soil/vegetation system. In addition, we studied emission and deposition fluxes of volatile reduced sulfur compounds from tropical tree species using cuvettes to directly measure the exchange behavior of tree twigs. These cuvettes were operated at young trees in a forest clearing near ground level as well as at a mature tree species on top of the forest canopy, employing a specially designed tree top jungle raft ('Treetop Raft III, Dirigible version') placed on the canopy crown. The results show qualitative and quantitative disparities between different tree species as well as between individuals of the same species near ground level (young) and at the top of the canopy (mature). We found some correlations between photosynthetic CO2 assimilation and emission of sulfur compounds. Comparison between measurements at the ground and at the canopy top show that the studied tree species adapts its photosynthetic CO2 assimilation in response to the climatic conditions at the canopy top. This is accompanied by a quantitative change in trace gas emission. Lower CO2 fixation rates are accompanied by an increase in the emission of reduced sulfur compounds. We propose the increase of DMS emission at the canopy top to be explained by a potential demand of nitrogen in the foliage resulting in an accumulation of sulfur.

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