1Unité de Physique des Biosystèmes, Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech, University of Liège, Avenue de la Faculté d'Agronomie 8, 5030 Gembloux, Belgium
2Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy, Ringlaan-3-Avenue Circulaire, 1180 Brussels, Belgium
3Research Group Environmental Organic Chemistry and Technology, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Ghent University, Coupure links 653, 9000 Gent, Belgium
4Laboratory of Plant Ecology, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Ghent University, Coupure links 653, 9000 Gent, Belgium
Abstract. Methanol exchanges over a mixed temperate forest in the Belgian Ardennes were measured for more than one vegetation season using disjunct eddy-covariance by a mass scanning technique and Proton Transfer Reaction Mass Spectrometry (PTR-MS). Half-hourly methanol fluxes were measured in the range of −0.6 to 0.6 μg m−2 s−1, and net daily methanol fluxes were generally negative in summer and autumn and positive in spring. On average, the negative fluxes dominated (i.e. the site behaved as a net sink), in contrast to what had been found in previous studies.
An original model describing the adsorption/desorption of methanol in water films present in the forest ecosystem and the methanol degradation process was developed. Its calibration, based on field measurements, predicted a mean methanol degradation rate of −0.0074 μg m−2 s−1 and a half lifetime for methanol in water films of 57.4 h. Biogenic emissions dominated the exchange only in spring, with a standard emission factor of 0.76 μg m−2 s−1.
The great ability of the model to reproduce the long-term evolution, as well as the diurnal variation of the fluxes, suggests that the adsorption/desorption and degradation processes play an important role in the global methanol budget. This result underlines the need to conduct long-term measurements in order to accurately capture these processes and to better estimate methanol fluxes at the ecosystem scale.