Effect of leaf litter degradation and seasonality on D/H isotope ratios of n-alkane biomarkers

Publication year: 2011
Source: Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, In Press, Accepted Manuscript, Available online 13 June 2011

Michael, Zech , Nikolai, Pedentchouk , Björn, Buggle , Katharina, Leiber , Karsten, Kalbitz , …

During the last decade, compound-specific hydrogen isotope analysis of plant leaf-wax and sedimentary n-alkyl lipids has become a promising tool for paleohydrological reconstructions. However, with the exception of several previous studies, there is a lack of knowledge regarding possible effects of early diagenesis on the δD values of n-alkanes. We therefore investigated the n-alkane patterns and δD values of long-chain n-alkanes from three different C3 higher plant species (Acer pseudoplatanus L., Fagus sylvatica L. and Sorbus aucuparia L.) that have been degraded in a field leaf litterbag experiment for 27 months.We found that after an initial increase of long-chain n-alkane…