View from above looking straight down at the top of the large ATTO tower, which stands out as an orange square above the green tree tops far below. Diagonally, the guy wires run from the tower into the forest.

Forest emissions of VOCs

Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) emission from Amazon forests has three primary sources – soil, litter, and plants. Yet, current modeling fails to estimate the contribution of each compartment - including their potential dynamics as sink and sources - due to a lack of observational studies with integrative approaches and to a non-representation of biodiversity. Our research group investigates forest emissions of VOCs in the continuum soil-forest-atmosphere. By integrating emissions with functional ecology and atmospheric transport, we aim to progress with better VOC emission modeling and shed light on the forest-atmosphere interactions mediated by VOCs in non-disturbed and disturbed forests.

A woman sits on a chair in the forest. Next to her are two instruments and many tubes and cables. One of them leads into a small measuring device the size of calculator, which she holds in her hands.
The forest floor is covered in leaf litter. On it sit two odd-looking instruments. Round boxes are covered with upside-down stainless steel salad bowl, each with a square measurement device on top.
We see three women in the forest, grouped around a couple of instruments on the forest floor. They are all smiling into the camera.

For the ATTO+ phase, we have three main goals:

  • Development of a bottom-up approach to characterize the VOC emission, with measurements of emissions from soil, litter, and plants.
  • Improvement of a top-down approach for the characterization of VOC emissions, with UAV measurements and remote sensing.
  • Scaling and interpreting the collected data (1 and 2) in combination with tower measurements to optimize VOC model developments (MEGAN). 


Team members at MPI-BGC

Team members at INPA

Debora Pinheiro de Oliveira

INPA, Climate and Environment

Murielli Caetano Andrade

INPA, Tropical Forest Sciences

Anna Carolina Martins Moraes


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