Scaling isoprene fluxes from leaves to canopies: Test cases over a boreal aspen and a mixed species temperate forest

Dennis D. Baldocchi, Jose D. Fuentes, David R. Bowling, Andrew A. Turnipseed, Russell K. Monson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


The rate at which isoprene is emitted by a forest depends on an array of environmental variables, the forest's biomass, and its species composition. At present it is unclear whether errors in canopy-scale and process-level isoprene emission models are due to inadequacies in leaf-to-canopy integration theory or the imperfect assessment of the isoprene-emitting biomass in the flux footprint. To address this issue, an isoprene emission model (CANVEG) was tested over a uniform aspen stand and a mixed-species, broad-leaved forest. The isoprene emission model consists of coupled micrometeorological and physiological modules. The micrometeorological module computes leaf and soil energy exchange, turbulent diffusion, scalar concentration profiles, and radiative transfer through the canopy. Environmental variables that are computed by the micrometeorological module, in turn, drive physiological modules that calculate leaf photosynthesis, stomatal conductance, transpiration and leaf, bole and soil/root respiration, and rates of isoprene emission. The isoprene emission model accurately predicted the diurnal variation of isoprene emission rates over the boreal aspen stand, as compared with micrometeorological flux measurements. The model's ability to simulate isoprene emission rates over the mixed temperate forest, on the other hand, depended strongly upon the amount of isoprene-emitting biomass, which, in a mixed-species forest, is a function of the wind direction and the horizontal dimensions of the flux footprint. When information on the spatial distribution of biomass and the flux footprint probability distribution function were included, the CANVEG model produced values of isoprene emission that compared well with micrometeorological measurements. The authors conclude that a mass and energy exchange model, which couples flows of carbon, water, and nutrients, can be a reliable tool for integrating leaf-scale, isoprene emission algorithms to the canopy dimension over dissimilar vegetation types as long as the vegetation is characterized appropriately.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)885-898
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Applied Meteorology
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science


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