Abstract Tree stems are an overlooked source of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Their contribution to ecosystem processes and total VOC fluxes is not well studied, and assessing it requires better understanding of stem emission dynamics and their driving processes. To gain more mechanistic insight into stem emission patterns, we measured monoterpene, methanol, and acetaldehyde emissions from the stems of mature Scots pines (Pinus sylvestris L.) in a boreal forest over three summers. We analysed the effects of temperature, soil water content, tree water status, transpiration, and growth on the VOC emissions, and used generalized linear models to test their relative importance in explaining the emissions. We show that Scots pine stems are considerable sources of monoterpenes, methanol, and acetaldehyde, and their emissions are strongly regulated by temperature. However, even small changes in water availability affected the emission potentials: increased soil water content increased the monoterpene emissions within a day, whereas acetaldehyde and methanol emissions responded within two to four days. This lag corresponded to their transport time in the xylem sap from the roots to the stem. Moreover, the emissions of monoterpenes, methanol, and acetaldehyde were influenced by the cambial growth rate of the stem with six- to ten-day lags. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
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Rissanen, K., Vanhatalo, A., Salmon, Y., Bäck, J., & Hölttä, T. (2020). Stem emissions of monoterpenes, acetaldehyde, and methanol from Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) affected by tree water relations and cambial growth. Plant, Cell and Environment, 43(7), 1751-1765. https://doi.org/10.1111/pce.13778