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Biogeosciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2020-195
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2020-195
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  06 Jul 2020

06 Jul 2020

Review status
This preprint is currently under review for the journal BG.

Surfaces of Silver Birch (Betula pendula) are Sources of Biological Ice Nuclei: In-vivo and In-situ Investigations

Teresa M. Seifried1, Paul Bieber1, Laura Felgitsch1, Julian Vlasich1, Florian Reyzek1, David G. Schmale III2, and Hinrich Grothe1 Teresa M. Seifried et al.
  • 1Institute of Materials Chemistry, TU Vienna, Vienna, 1060, Austria
  • 2School of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Virginia Tech, 24061-0390 Blacksburg, Virginia, USA

Abstract. Silver birch (Betula pendula) are known to contain ice-nucleating macromolecules (INMs) to survive in harsh environments. However, little is known about the release and transport of INMs from birch trees into the atmosphere. In this study, we conducted in-situ and in-vivo investigations on INM from nine birches growing in an alpine valley (Ötztal, Austria). A detailed analysis of drill cores shows that INM concentration increases towards outer layers, reaching its maximum near the surface. Aqueous extracts from the surfaces of leaves, bark, primary wood and secondary wood contained INMs (34/36) with concentrations ranging from 9.9·105 to 1.8·109 INM cm−2. In a field study, we analysed the effect of precipitation on the release of these INMs attached to the surface of the trees. These experiments showed that INMs are splashed and aerosolized into the environment during rainfall events, at concentrations and freezing temperatures similar to in-vivo samples. Our work sheds new light on the release and transport of INMs from birch surfaces into the troposphere. Birches growing in boreal and alpine forests should be considered as an important terrestrial source of INMs.

Teresa M. Seifried et al.

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Teresa M. Seifried et al.

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