Gross fluxes of methyl chloride and methyl bromide in a California oak-savanna woodland

Robert C. Rhew, Christopher Chen, Yit Arn Teh, Dennis Baldocchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Temperate woodland ecosystems are believed to be both a source and sink for atmospheric methyl bromide and methyl chloride. To separate the gross production and consumption fluxes in this ecosystem, we applied a stable isotope tracer technique in field and laboratory-based experiments. Flux measurements were conducted in a California oak-savanna woodland ecosystem at several intervals throughout the day during the wet and dry seasons to observe the diurnal and seasonal variability of fluxes. While gross production was small and variable, gross consumption showed a clear difference between seasons, with much larger rates during the wet season and negligible rates during the dry season. Laboratory incubations confirmed that fluxes were strongly affected by soil moisture. Consumption rates of methyl bromide, however, are less than half of the previous estimates of temperate woodland soil uptake rates during the growing season. Nevertheless, woodlands cover a significant portion of the world's land surface area and may still be an important component of the soil sink for these methyl halides (C) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2054-2061
Number of pages8
JournalAtmospheric Environment
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - May 2010


  • Methyl halide
  • Gross flux
  • Chloromethane
  • Bromomethane
  • Woodlands
  • Stable isotope tracer


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