Faculty Advisor

Mark Potosnak


Isoprene, the most abundant hydrocarbon in the atmosphere, plays a significant role in atmospheric chemistry. Its reactions with NOx lead to the formation of ozone in the lower troposphere, which is harmful to plants and detrimental to human health. As air temperatures and CO2 concentrations increase with climate change, it is uncertain how isoprene emissions from plants will respond. We hypothesized that isoprene emissions will increase with the combination of increasing temperature and CO­2 concentrations. We predict that oaks grown at a higher temperature will exhibit an increase in isoprene emissions with combined short-term increases in temperature and CO2 concentration. Five post oaks (Quercus stellata) were placed in two growth chambers set at 25°C and 30°C. Isoprene emissions were measured at varying temperature and CO2 conditions with two different instruments. Results indicate that in the presence of a combinatory increase in temperature and CO­­2 concentration, isoprene emission is suppressed, contrary to results from a short-term experiment.