Forest emissions of hydrocarbons are ruled by daily biological rhythms in the plants suggests an article published online this week in Nature Geoscience.
Many plants emit the hydrocarbon isoprene, which is a precursor to the air pollutant ozone. Nick Hewitt and colleagues monitored emissions of isoprene from a rainforest and an oil-palm plantation in Malaysia. Their measurements suggest that daily emissions are regulated by an internally driven circadian clock. They show that incorporation of circadian control in model simulations reduces estimates of forest isoprene emissions.
In an accompanying News and Views, Alex Archibald writes “circadian control of isoprene emissions could bring model simulations of ground-level ozone in line with observations”.