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Chemosphere. 2007 Sep;69(4):549-53. Epub 2007 Apr 25.

Identification of methyl chloride-emitting plants and atmospheric measurements on a subtropical island.

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  • 1National Institute for Environmental Studies, 16-2 Onogawa, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8506, Japan.


A survey of methyl chloride (CH3Cl)-emitting plants was performed at a subtropical island in Japan (Iriomote Island). Among the 187 species of tropical/subtropical plants investigated, 33 species from a variety of families were identified as CH3Cl-emitting plants. The strongest emitters were Osmunda banksiifolia, Cibotium balometz, Angiopteris palmiformis, Vitex rotundifolia, Vitex trifolia, and Excoecaria agalloch, each with CH3Cl emission rates exceeding 1microg (gdrywt)(-1)h(-1). The first three species are ferns, and the last three are halophilous plants. Based on our results, the character of CH3Cl emission is likely to be shared at the genus level but not always at the family level. The atmospheric CH3Cl distribution measured on Iriomote Island showed significant enhancement in forested sites (up to 2750 ppt) and a higher concentration on the downwind shore than on the upwind shore. As previously reported, our findings provide strong evidence for the high emission of CH3Cl from tropical/subtropical forests.

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