Foliage/atmosphere exchange of mercury in a subtropical coniferous forest in south China

Yao Luo, Lei Duan, Charles T. Driscoll, Guangyi Xu, Mengshu Shao, Mariah Taylor, Shuxiao Wang, Jiming Hao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Foliage/atmosphere exchange is an important pathway of deposition and loss in the biogeochemical mercury (Hg) cycle of terrestrial ecosystems. The foliage/atmosphere fluxes of Hg0 were observed over four seasons in a Masson pine (Pinus massoniana) forest in south China. Hg0 exchange showed a bidirectional process but without clear compensation point. Hg0 emissions peaked midday in all four seasons, probably associated with Hg photoreduction on needle surface. Peaks in Hg0 adsorption/deposition often occurred in the morning, especially in spring and autumn. Although current-year needles accumulated Hg at a rate of 19.4 µg m−2 yr−1, they were a net Hg0 source of 1.7 µg m−2 yr−1 to the atmosphere as their release of Hg exceeded inputs. In addition, previous-year needles emitted Hg0 at an average rate of 9.2 µg m−2 yr−1. Based on the mass balance of Hg in the forest canopy, the dry deposition of Hg was estimated 52.5 µg m−2 yr−1, much higher than the wet deposition (to 14.4 µg m−2 yr−1). Although Hg in the atmosphere is considered the main source of Hg in folia, soil water may contribute to Hg0 emission by plant transpiration. These processes should be further studied in the future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2006-2016
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016


  • Masson pine forest
  • Mercury
  • foliage/atmosphere exchange
  • natural emission

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Forestry
  • Aquatic Science
  • Soil Science
  • Palaeontology
  • Ecology
  • Atmospheric Science


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