Message from the Director

Welcome to the Center for the Environment at Purdue University where our affiliated researchers, working with their global partners, conduct use-inspired science to address humanity’s most pressing environmental and sustainability challenges.
I encourage you to explore our web site or attend one of the many events that highlight our interdisciplinary research, education, and service activities.

– Timothy Filley, Interim Director
Center for the Environment

2016 C4E Annual Report

Forest fungi boost invasive plants, choke out native species

December 6, 2017

Certain types of tree-associated fungi make a forest a welcoming environment for invasive plant species, crowding out...

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AGU 2017 Poster Presentation by Jianghanyang Li: Geochemical, Sulfur Isotopic Characteristics and Source Contributions of Size-Aggregated Aerosols Collected in Baring Head, New Zealand.

December 12, 2017

Sulfate aerosols are critical to the climate, human health, and the hydrological cycle in the atmosphere, yet the sources of sulfate in aerosols are not completely understood. In this work, we evaluated the sources of sulfate in size-aggregated aerosols from the Southern Pacific Ocean and the land of New Zealand using geochemical and isotopic analyses. Aerosols were collected at Baring Head, New Zealand between 6/30/15 to 8/4/16 using two collectors, one only collects Southern Pacific Ocean derived aerosols (open-ocean collector), the other collects aerosols from both the ocean and the land (all-direction collector). Each collector is equipped with two filters to sample size-aggregated aerosols (fine aerosols: <0.5 um and coarse aerosols: 0.5-10 um). Our results show that fine and coarse aerosols show distinctive sulfate sources: sulfate in fine aerosols is a mixture of sea-salt sulfate (~30%) and Non-Sea-Salt sulfate (NSS-SO42-, ~70%), while coarse aerosols are dominated by sea-salt sulfate. However, some NSS-SO42- was also observed in coarse aerosols collected in summer, suggesting the presence of accumulation mode NSS-SO42- aerosols, which is possibly due to high summer biogenic DMS flux. The sources of sulfur in NSS-SO42- could be further determined by their d34S values. DMS emission is likely the sole sulfur source in the open-ocean collector as it shows constant DMS-like d34S signatures (15-18‰) throughout the year. Meanwhile, the d34S of NSS-SO42- in the all-direction collector display a seasonal trend: summer time d34S values are higher and DMS-like (15-18‰), indicating DMS emission is the dominant sulfur source; winter time d34S values are lower (~6-12‰), therefore the sulfur is likely sourced from both DMS emission and terrestrial S input with low d34S values, such as volcanic activities, fossil fuel and wood burning.

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