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How will global climate change affect isoprene emission from plants?

Thomas Sharkey, Michigan State University

07.11.2019 10:30 Uhr

Isoprene emitted from plants, especially trees, is the most abundant non-methane hydrocarbon entering the atmosphere. Isoprene may be a signaling molecule that affects gene expression in ways that prime plants for tolerance of high temperature and other stresses. Isoprene emission is highly temperature sensitive with Q10 sometimes in excess of 5. This should mean that isoprene emission will be much greater in a warmer world. However, isoprene emission is inhibited by CO2. Data will be presented that the CO2 effect is not related to photosynthesis even though the carbon in isoprene is derived directly from the Calvin-Benson cycle. The combined effect of temperature and CO2 on isoprene emission is hard to predict but data will be shown suggesting that the temperature stimulation will outweigh the CO2 suppression and that there will be more isoprene emitted globally, and certainly more emitted in some regions, in the future.