SOUTHERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY
This award is a collaboration between SIUC and the Storm Peak Laboratory. It supports gas samples collected in western Colorado forests that have been infested with the mountain pine beetle. Forest emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that react with atmospheric oxidants, and some of the products of the reaction increase atmospheric particulate matter concentrations. Particulate matter impacts regional air quality, the hygroscopic properties of clouds, and climate forcing. The goal of this work is to assess the effect of the mountain pine beetle infestation on the emission of volatile organic compounds. We determined the VOC concentrations of the emissions sampled near infested and healthy trees (focusing especially on comparisons between dead vs. live trees, pesticide sprayed trees, lodgepole pine vs. Engelmann spruce trees, and the trunk and canopy of the trees. We used the concentrations of the emissions found in these samples to project the relative changes in the types of the the total quantities of volatile organic compounds emitted due to beetle infestation, and, in turn, the impact on particulate matter concentrations.