Methyl chloride emissions from halophyte leaf litter: dependence on temperature and chloride content.

PMID 22225707


Methyl chloride (CH(3)Cl) is the most abundant natural chlorine containing compound in the atmosphere, and responsible for a significant fraction of stratospheric ozone destruction. Understanding the global CH(3)Cl budget is therefore of great importance. However, the strength of the individual sources and sinks is still uncertain. Leaf litter is a potentially important source of methyl chloride, but factors controlling the emissions are unclear. This study investigated CH(3)Cl emissions from leaf litter of twelve halophyte species. The emissions were not due to biological activity, and emission rates varied between halophyte species up to two orders of magnitude. For all species, the CH(3)Cl emission rates increased with temperature following the Arrhenius relation. Activation energies were similar for all investigated plant species, indicating that even though emissions vary largely between plant species, their response to changing temperatures is similar. The chloride and methoxyl group contents of the leaf litter samples were determined, but those parameters were not significantly correlated to the CH(3)Cl emission rate.