Chemical characterization of biomass burning emissions from prescribed fires


Brent williams, jonathan myers

Plant biodiversity is critical to the health and function of ecosystems and can be influenced by human perturbations and management practices such as controlled fires. Plant biodiversity will also determine the chemical makeup of fire emissions, impacting local and regional air quality. This holds true whether the fires are controlled or if they are wildfires, like those on the rise globally due to climate change influences. We are currently investigating links between plant-species-specific fire emissions and key molecular marker compounds found in resulting atmospheric particles using a combination of lab-based studies and aerial samples collected from prescribed burns. This project provides insight into the early-stage evolution of atmospheric particle composition and feedbacks between plant biodiversity and air quality.