Kinetics of leaf temperature fluctuation affect isoprene emission from red oak (Quercus rubra) leaves

Eric L. Singsaas, Marianne M. Laporte, Jain Zhong Shi, Russell K. Monson, David R. Bowling, Kristine Johnson, Manuel Lerdau, Amal Jasentuliytana, Thomas D. Sharkey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

83 Scopus citations


Because the rate of isoprene (2-methyl-1,3-butadiene) emission from plants is highly temperature-dependent, we investigated natural fluctuations in leaf temperature and effects of rapid temperature change on isoprene emission of red oak (Quercus rubra L.) leaves at the top of the canopy at Harvard Forest. Throughout the day, leaves often reached temperatures as much as 15 °C above air temperature. The highest temperatures were reached for only a few seconds at a time. We compared isoprene emission rates measured when leaf temperature was changed rapidly with those measured when temperature was changed slowly. In all cases, isoprene emission rate increased with increasing leaf temperature up to about 32 °C and then decreased with higher temperatures. The temperature at which isoprene emission rates began to decrease depended on how quickly measurements were made. Isoprene emission rates peaked at 32.5 °C when measured hourly, whereas rates peaked at 39 °C when measurements were made every four minutes. This behavior reflected the rapid increase in isoprene emission rate that occurred immediately after an increase in leaf temperature, and the subsequent decrease in isoprene emission rate when leaf temperature was held steady for longer than 20 minutes. We concluded that the observed temperature response of isoprene emission rate is a function of measurement protocol. Omitting this parameter from isoprene emission models will not affect simulated isoprene emission rates at mild temperatures, but can increase isoprene emission rates at high temperatures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)917-924
Number of pages8
JournalTree Physiology
Issue number14
StatePublished - Dec 1999


  • Air pollution
  • Biogenic emissions
  • Forest trees
  • Modeling
  • Temperature response

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Plant Science


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