First Advisor

Olyssa Starry

Date of Award

Spring 2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Physics: Biomedical Physics and University Honors






Isoprene, Monoterpenes, Volatile organic compounds -- Measurement, Air quality




Plant-derived biogenic volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions contribute to secondary emissions of molecules such as ground-level ozone (O3) and PM 2.5 which are known to be harmful to the environment and negatively impact human health. Currently, the most known biogenic VOC emissions are from vascular plants like trees and economically significant crops. Air quality models use known emission rates from these measurements and have many unknown sources yet to identify. Unknown values of emissions occur due to a lack of measurements of a wider variety of plants, especially that of smaller and lesser-studied species of bryophytes; mosses. This experiment aimed to provide previously unmeasured flux values of isoprene and monoterpenes from four common moss species; Antitrichia californica, Dicranoweisia cirrata, Polytrichum juniperinum, and Racomitrium canescens. Fluxes of isoprene between species were shown to vary significantly while monoterpenes had similar flux values across species. Isoprene flux of P. juniperinum was significantly higher, 656.80 ± 335.0 (μg/h/m² ± SD), than the other three species and would not be recommended for purposeful cultivation on green infrastructure like ecoroofs.


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