Measurements of nitrogen oxides and ozone fluxes by eddy covariance at a meadow: evidence for an internal leaf resistance to NO 2
Nitrogen dioxide (NO 2) plays an important role in atmospheric pollution, in particular for tropospheric ozone production. However, the removal processes involved in NO 2 deposition to terrestrial ecosystems are still the subject of ongoing discussion. This study reports NO 2 flux measurements made over a meadow using the eddy covariance method. The measured NO 2 deposition fluxes during daytime were about a factor of two lower than a priori calculated fluxes using the Surfatm model without taking into account an internal (also called mesophyllic or sub-stomatal) resistance. Neither an underestimation of the measured NO 2 deposition flux due to chemical divergence or an in-canopy NO 2 source nor an underestimation of the resistances used to model the NO 2 deposition explained the large difference between measured and modelled NO 2 fluxes. Thus, only the existence of the internal resistance could account for this large discrepancy between model and measurements. The median internal resistance was estimated to be 300 s m −1 during daytime, but exhibited a large variability (100–800 s m −1). In comparison, the stomatal resistance was only around 100 s m −1 during daytime. Hence, the internal resistance accounted for 50–90% of the total leaf resistance to NO 2. This study presents the first clear evidence and quantification of the internal resistance using the eddy covariance method; i.e. plant functioning was not affected by changes of microclimatological (turbulent) conditions that typically occur when using enclosure methods.