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PI-Submitted Research Highlights for
Terrestrial Ecosystem Science Program

The Distribution of Leaf Isoprene and Monoterpene Emissions in the Five Most Abundant Tree Types in the Amazon Basin

Kolby Jardine

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April 9, 2020

Widespread occurrence of photosynthesis-linked volatile isoprenoid emissions in Amazonia.

The Science
Tropical forests are acknowledged to be the largest global source of emissions of the biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) isoprene (C5H8) and monoterpenes (C10H16). Current synthesis studies suggesting that few tropical species emit isoprenoids (20% to 38%) and that those that do, do so with highly variable emission capacities, including species within the same tree genera. This apparent lack of a clear phylogenetic thread has created difficulties both in linking isoprenoid function with evolution and in developing accurate biosphere-atmosphere models. In this study, a field-portable system was developed to identify and quantify isoprene and monoterpene emissions from leaves in parallel with measuring leaf physiologies including photosynthesis and transpiration. The system will enable the characterization of carbon and energy allocation to the biosynthesis and emission of isoprenoids linked with photosynthesis and their biological and environmental sensitivities (e.g., light, temperature, and carbon dioxide). Using this system, scientists from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) conducted a systematic isoprenoid emission study across the five most abundant tree genera in the Amazon basin.

The Impact
The hyperdominant species (numbering 69) across the top five most abundant genera, which make up about 50% of all individuals in the Amazon basin, showed a high abundance of isoprenoid emitters (isoprene, 63.8%; monoterpenes, 17.4%; both isoprene and monoterpenes, 11.6%). Among the abundant genera, only Pouteria had a low frequency of isoprene-emitting species (15.8% of 19 species). In contrast, ProtiumLicaniaInga, and Eschweilera were rich in isoprene-emitting species (i.e., 83.3% of 12 species, 61.1% of 18 species, 100% of 8 species, and 100% of 12 species, respectively). In every genus, species were observed with light-dependent isoprene emissions together with β-ocimene emissions. These observations demonstrate that isoprene biological function and phylogenetic relationship studies cannot be conducted without including monoterpenes. These findings support the emerging view of the evolution of isoprene synthases from ocimene synthases. The finding (i.e., 64% of species observed versus 20% suggested in the literature) improves understanding of isoprenoid function-evolution relationships and represents a base for developing more accurate Earth System Models (ESMs).

Summary
Tropical forests are acknowledged to be the largest global source of emissions from isoprene (C5H8) and monoterpenes (C10H16), with current synthesis studies suggesting that few tropical species emit isoprenoids (20% to 38%) and that those do so with highly variable emission capacities, including species within the same genera. This apparent lack of a clear phylogenetic thread has created difficulties both in linking isoprenoid function with evolution and for developing accurate biosphere-atmosphere models. In this study, LBNL scientists present a systematic emission study of “hyperdominant” tree species in the Amazon basin. Across 162 individuals distributed among 25 botanical families and 113 species, isoprenoid emissions were widespread among both early and late successional species (isoprene, 61.9% of the species; monoterpenes, 15.0%; bothisoprene and monoterpenes, 9.7%). The hyperdominant species (69) across the top five most abundant genera, which make up about 50% of all individuals in the basin, had a similar abundance of isoprenoid emitters (isoprene, 63.8%; monoterpenes, 17.4%; both, 11.6%). Among the abundant genera, only Pouteria had a low frequency of isoprene-emitting species (i.e., 15.8% of 19 species). In contrast, ProtiumLicaniaInga, and Eschweilera were rich in isoprene-emitting species (i.e., 83.3% of 12 species, 61.1% of 18 species, 100% of 8 species, and 100% of 12 species, respectively). Light-response curves of individuals in each of the five genera showed light-dependent, photosynthesis-linked emission rates of isoprene and monoterpenes. Importantly, in every genus, the scientists observed species with light-dependent isoprene emissions together with monoterpenes including β-ocimene. These observations support the emerging view of the evolution of isoprene synthases from β-ocimene synthases. Study results have important implications for understanding isoprenoid function-evolution relationships and the development of more accurate ESMs.

Contacts
BER Program Manager
Daniel Stover
U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science, Office of Biological and Environmental Research
Earth and Environmental Systems Sciences Division (SC-33.1)
Environmental System Science
daniel.stover@science.doe.gov

Principal Investigator
Kolby Jardine
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Berkeley, CA 94720
kjjardine@lbl.gov

Funding
This material is based on work supported as part of the Next-Generation Ecosystem Experiments (NGEE)–Tropics project funded by the Office of Biological and Environmental Research (BER), within the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science, through Contract No. DE-AC02-05CH11231 to Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) as part of DOE’s Terrestrial Ecosystem Science Program. Funding for the data analysis and manuscript preparation was provided by the DOE Office of Science Early Career Research Program under award no. FP00007421 to LBNL. Graduate student support was supported by the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq) in Brazil. Logistical and scientific support is acknowledged by the Forest Management (MF), Climate and Environment (CLIAMB), and Large-Scale Biosphere-Atmosphere (LBA) programs at the National Institute for Amazon Research (INPA) in Brazil.

Publications
Jardine, K. J., R. F. Zorzanelli, B. O. Gilmenez, L. R de Oliveira Piva, A. Teixeira, C. G. Fontes, R. Robles, N. Higuchi, J. Q. Chambers, and S. T. Martin. “Leaf isoprene and monoterpene emission distribution across hyperdominant tree genera in the Amazon basin. Phytochemistry 175, 112366 (2020). [DOI:10.1016/j.phytochem.2020.112366].

Jardine, K., R. Zorzanelli, B. Gimenez, E. Robles, and L. Piva. “Development of a portable leaf photosynthesis and volatile organic compounds emission system.” MethodsX 7, 100880 (2020). [DOI:10.1016/j.mex.2020.100880].

Jardine, K., R. Zorzanelli, B. Gimenez, E. Robles, and L. Piva. “Leaf gas exchange and volatile isoprenoid emission dataset of hyperdominant tree genera in the Amazon forest.” Phytochemistry Data in Brief (in press).

Related Links
Data DOIs

  • Jardine, K., R. Zorzanelli, B. Gimenez, E. Robles, and L. Rosa (2020). “Leaf isoprene and monoterpene emission data-set across hyperdominant tree genera in the Amazon basin. 1.0.” NGEE–Tropics Data Collection (dataset): http://dx.doi.org/10.15486/ngt/1602142
  • Jardine, K., R. Zorzanelli, B. Gimenez, E. Robles, and L. Rosa (2020). “Raw leaf gas exchange data in the Amazon basin, 2014–2016. 1.0.” NGEE–Tropics Data Collection (dataset): http://dx.doi.org/10.15486/ngt/1602143
  • Jardine, K., R. Zorzanelli, B. Gimenez, E. Robles, and L. Rosa (2020). “Raw leaf isoprene and monoterpene emission GC-MS chromatograms/calibrations for MassHunter software, Brazil, 2014–2016. 1.0.” NGEE–Tropics Data Collection (dataset): http://dx.doi.org/10.15486/ngt/1602144

This material is based upon work supported as part of the Next Generation Ecosystem Experiments-Tropics (NGEE-Tropics) funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Biological and Environmental Research through contract No. DE-AC02-05CH11231 to LBNL, as part of DOE’s Terrestrial Ecosystem Science Program. Funding for the data analysis and manuscript preparation was provided by the DOE Office of Science Early Career Research Program (FY18 DOE National Laboratory Announcement Number: LAB 17-1761), Topic: Plant Systems for the Production of Biofuels and Bioproducts. Graduate student support was supported by the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq) in Brazil. Logistical and scientific support is acknowledged by the Forest Management (MF), Climate and Environment (CLIAMB), and Large-Scale Biosphere-Atmosphere (LBA) programs at the National Institute for Amazon Research (INPA).  

 

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