Polar organic tracers in PM2.5 aerosols from forests in eastern China
1Inst. of Environmental Pollution and Health, Shanghai Univ., 200072 Shanghai, P. R. China
2China National Research Center for Environmental Analysis and Measurements, 100029 Beijing, P. R. China
3Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences, 100012 Beijing, P. R. China
4Dept. of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Univ. of Antwerp (Campus Drie Eiken), 2610 Antwerp, Belgium
5Guangzhou Inst. of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 510640 Guangzhou, P. R. China
Abstract. Photooxidation products of biogenic volatile organic compounds, mainly isoprene and monoterpenes, are significant sources of atmospheric particulate matter in forested regions. The objectives of this study were to examine time trends and diurnal variations of polar organic tracers for the photooxidation of isoprene and α-pinene to investigate whether they are linked with meteorological parameters or trace gases and to estimate their regional carbon contributions. PM2.5 (particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter <2.5 μm) aerosol samples were collected from forests in eastern China and compared with data from forested sites in Europe and America. Aerosol sampling was conducted at four sites located along a gradient of ecological succession in four different regions of China, i.e. Changbai Mountain Nature Reserve (boreal-temperate), Chongming National Forest Park (temperate), Dinghu Mountain Nature Reserve (subtropical) and Jianfengling Nature Reserve (tropical) during summer periods when the meteorological conditions are believed to be favorable for photochemical processes. Fifty PM2.5 samples were collected; seventeen organic compounds, organic carbon (OC), elemental carbon and trace gases were measured. Results indicate that the concentration trends of the secondary organic compounds reflected those of the trace gases and meteorological parameters. The 24-h average concentrations of isoprene oxidation products, α-pinene oxidation products, sugars and sugar alcohols vary systematically along gradients of ecological succession, except malic acid which may have both biogenic and anthropogenic sources. The maximum carbon contribution of isoprene and α-pinene oxidation products to the OC was 2.4% (293 ng/m3, Changbai day-time) and 0.3% (41.3 ng/m3, Changbai night-time), respectively.