Forests as Sources of Hydrocarbons, Particulates, and Other Contaminants

  • William H. Smith
Part of the Springer Series on Environmental Management book series (SSEM)


In addition to whatever contribution forests may make to the atmospheric burden of carbon, sulfur, and nitrogen oxides, they are known to be important natural sources of hydrocarbons and particulates. Volatile hydrocarbons are released by a variety of woody plants during the course of normal metabolism. Pollen, the most significant particulate contaminant released by forests from the standpoint of human health, is also produced, of course, during normal reproductive metabolism. Hydrocarbon aerosols are viewed as an increasingly important particulate emission from forests. Forest burning, whether naturally occurring or artificially ignited, also produces hydrocarbons, particulates as well as carbon oxides. Even though forest fires may be a natural recurring event in most forest ecosystems, the pollutants generated by this process are not the result of normal metabolism but rather are generated by combustion of forest biomass. As a result, the latter are discussed in Section C.


Allergic Rhinitis Forest Fire Tree Pollen Airborne Pollen Allergenic Pollen 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • William H. Smith
    • 1
  1. 1.Greeley Memorial LaboratorySchool of Forestry and Environmental Studies Yale UniversityNew HavenUSA

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