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Henni Ylänne. Photo.

Henni Ylänne


Henni Ylänne. Photo.

Emissions of biogenic volatile organic compounds from adjacent boreal fen and bog as impacted by vegetation composition


  • Elisa Männistö
  • Henni Ylänne
  • Mari Losoi
  • Markku Keinänen
  • Pasi Yli-Pirilä
  • Aino Korrensalo
  • Jaana Bäck
  • Heidi Hellén
  • Annele Virtanen
  • Eeva Stiina Tuittila

Summary, in English

Peatland ecosystems emit biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOC), which have a net cooling impact on the climate. However, the quality and quantity of BVOC emissions, and how they are regulated by vegetation and peatland type remain poorly understood. Here we measured BVOC emissions with dynamic enclosures from two major boreal peatland types, a minerotrophic fen and an ombrotrophic bog situated in Siikaneva, southern Finland and experimentally assessed the role of vegetation by removing vascular vegetation with or without the moss layer. Our measurements from four campaigns during growing seasons in 2017 and 2018 identified emissions of 59 compounds from nine different chemical groups. Isoprene accounted for 81 % of BVOC emissions. Measurements also revealed uptake of dichloromethane. Total BVOC emissions and the emissions of isoprene, monoterpenoids, sesquiterpenes, homoterpenes, and green leaf volatiles were tightly connected to vascular plants. Isoprene and sesquiterpene emissions were associated with sedges, whereas monoterpenoids and homoterpenes were associated with shrubs. Additionally, isoprene and alkane emissions were higher in the fen than in the bog and they significantly contributed to the higher BVOC emissions from intact vegetation in the fen. During an extreme drought event in 2018, emissions of organic halides were absent. Our results indicate that climate change with an increase in shrub cover and increased frequency of extreme weather events may have a negative impact on total BVOC emissions that otherwise are predicted to increase in warmer temperatures. However, these changes also accompanied a change in BVOC emission quality. As different compounds differ in their capacity to form secondary organic aerosols, the ultimate climate impact of peatland BVOC emissions may be altered.


  • MERGE: ModElling the Regional and Global Earth system
  • BECC: Biodiversity and Ecosystem services in a Changing Climate
  • Centre for Environmental and Climate Science (CEC)

Publishing year





Science of the Total Environment



Document type

Journal article




  • Climate Research
  • Ecology
  • Environmental Sciences


  • Dwarf shrub
  • Moss
  • Peat
  • Peatland
  • Sedge
  • Sphagnum




  • ISSN: 0048-9697