Carbon and hydrogen isotope variation of plant biomarkers in a plant-soil system

Yoshito Chikaraishi, Hiroshi Naraoka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

78 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Stable carbon (δ13C) and hydrogen (δD) isotopic compositions of n-alkanes, anteiso-alkanes, n-alkanoic acids, n-alkanols, phytol and sterols in raw leaves of Acer argutum and Acer carpinifolium, their fallen leaves, mold and soils from a natural Acer forest were measured in order to: (1) understand isotopic variation of the plant biomarkers in a plant-soil system and (2) evaluate which biomarker is the most effective recorder of soil vegetation. Long-chain (> C24) n-alkanes, n-alkanoic acids and n-alkanols are gradually enriched in 13C up to 12.9‰ (average of 4.3‰) and depleted in D up to 94‰ (average of 55‰) from raw leaves to soils. However, anteiso-alkanes, phytol and sterols show little variation in both δ13C (< ± 1‰) and δD (< ± 2‰) from raw leaves to soils. These isotope signatures in a plant-soil system indicate that isoprenoid plant biomarkers such as sterols in soils faithfully preserve the isotopic compositions of dominant higher plants growing on the soils without a diagenetic effect upon the isotopic compositions. In contrast, long-chain n-alkyl molecules in soils undergo specific isotopic modification during biodegradation associated with early diagenesis and/or a significant contribution from heterotrophic reworking.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)190-202
Number of pages13
JournalChemical Geology
Volume231
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 30 2006
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

hydrogen isotope
Biomarkers
Isotopes
carbon isotope
biomarker
Hydrogen
Carbon
Soils
Alkanes
alkane
soil
sterol
Sterols
Phytol
isotopic composition
Carboxylic acids
Chemical analysis
isoprenoid
acid
Terpenes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geochemistry and Petrology

Cite this

Carbon and hydrogen isotope variation of plant biomarkers in a plant-soil system. / Chikaraishi, Yoshito; Naraoka, Hiroshi.

In: Chemical Geology, Vol. 231, No. 3, 30.07.2006, p. 190-202.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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