Organic components of aerosols in a forested area of central Greece
Total suspended particulate matter was collected in a Abies boressi forest in central Greece during the period of 20 July–12 August 1997. Filters were extracted with solvents and the soluble content was separated into functional group fractions for analyses by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. A total of 1050 different compounds could be identified in the various extracts. The lipid material consisted primarily of n-alkanes, n-alkan-2-ones, n-alkanols and n-fatty acids, with a higher concentration of molecular weights >C20, derived from vascular plant waxes. Biomarkers for vegetation sources such as phytosterols and triterpenic compounds were also detected. Microbial components (<C20), petroleum residues and pyrogenic aromatic hydrocarbons were present in the various aerosol extracts. Photochemical products deriving from volatile organic compounds emitted by vegetation or from anthropogenic precursors were also detected. These secondary organics include alkane derivatives, di- and carboxylic acids, nitroaromatics and many terpene photo-oxidation products.