Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Temporal and Spatial Variability of Volatile Organic Compounds in the Forest Atmosphere

Version 1 : Received: 20 November 2019 / Approved: 21 November 2019 / Online: 21 November 2019 (04:19:17 CET)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Meneguzzo, F.; Albanese, L.; Bartolini, G.; Zabini, F. Temporal and Spatial Variability of Volatile Organic Compounds in the Forest Atmosphere. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 4915. Meneguzzo, F.; Albanese, L.; Bartolini, G.; Zabini, F. Temporal and Spatial Variability of Volatile Organic Compounds in the Forest Atmosphere. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 4915.

Journal reference: Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 4915
DOI: 10.3390/ijerph16244915

Abstract

Forest healing effects are increasingly valued for their contribution to human psychological and physiological health, motivating further advances aimed at improving the knowledge of the relevant forest resources. Biogenic volatile organic compounds, emitted by the plants and accumulating in the forest atmosphere, are essential contributors to the forest healing effects, and represent the focus of this study. Using a photoionization detector, we investigated the high frequency variability, in time and space, of the concentration of total volatile organic compounds, on a hilly site, as well as along forest paths and long hiking trails on Italian northern Apennines. The scale of concentration variability was found to be comparable to absolute concentration levels, within time scales of less than one hour, and spatial scales of several hundred meters. During daylight hours, the concentration peaked from noon to early afternoon, followed by early morning, with lowest levels in late afternoon. Based on a conceptual model, these results were related to meteorological variables, including the atmospheric vertical stability profile. Moreover, preliminary evidence pointed to higher concentration of volatile organic compounds in forests dominated by conifer trees, in comparison with pure beech forests.

Subject Areas

bioactive compounds; forest air; forest bathing; forest therapy; hiking trails; human health; monoterpenes; stress; volatile organic compounds

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