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Cov / Monoterpene 

The healing effects of the forest are increasingly valued for their contribution to human psychological and physiological health, motivating further progress aimed at improving knowledge of relevant forest resources. The biogenic volatile organic compounds, emitted by plants and which accumulate in the forest atmosphere, contribute in an essential way to the healing effects of the forest and represent the focus of this study. Using a photoionization detector, we studied the high frequency variability, over time and space, of the concentration of total volatile organic compounds on a hilly site, as well as along forest trails and long hiking trails in the northern Italian Apennines. The concentration variability scale was found to be comparable to absolute concentration levels within time scales of less than one hour and spatial scales of several hundred meters. During daylight hours, on clear, calm days, the concentration peaked from noon to early afternoon, followed by early morning, with the lowest levels in the late afternoon. These results were related to meteorological variables including the atmospheric vertical stability profile. Additionally, preliminary trials indicated higher concentrations of volatile organic compounds in coniferous tree-dominated forests than in pure beech forests.

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