Understorey Rhododendron tomentosum and Leaf Trichome Density Affect Mountain Birch VOC Emissions in the Subarctic
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CitationMofikoya, AO. Miura, K. Ghimire, RP. Blande, JD. Kivimäenpää, M. Holopainen, T. Holopainen, JK. (2018). Understorey Rhododendron tomentosum and Leaf Trichome Density Affect Mountain Birch VOC Emissions in the Subarctic. Scientific Reports, 8 (1) , 13261. 10.1038/s41598-018-31084-3.
Subarctic vegetation is composed of mountain birch [Betula pubescens ssp. czerepanovii (MB)] forests with shrubs and other species growing in the understorey. The effects of the presence and density of one understorey shrub, Rhododendron tomentosum (RT), on the volatile emissions of MB, were investigated in a Finnish subarctic forest site in early and late growing season. Only MB trees with an RT-understorey emitted the RT-specific sesquiterpenoids, palustrol, ledol and aromadendrene. Myrcene, which is the most abundant RT-monoterpene was also emitted in higher quantities by MB trees with an RT-understorey. The effect of RT understorey density on the recovery of RT compounds from MB branches was evident only during the late season when sampling temperature, as well as RT emissions, were higher. MB sesquiterpene and total emission rates decreased from early season to late season, while monoterpene emission rate increased. Both RT and MB terpenoid emission rates were linked to density of foliar glandular trichomes, which deteriorated over the season on MB leaves and emerged with new leaves in the late season in RT. We show that sesquiterpene and monoterpene compounds emitted by understorey vegetation are adsorbed and re-released by MB, strongly affecting the MB volatile emission profile.