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Molecular Paleohydrology interpreting the Hydrogen- Isotopic Composition of Lipid Biomarkers from Photosynthesizing Organisms

  • Hydrogen-isotopic abundances of lipid biomarkers are emerging as important proxies in the study of ancient environments and ecosystems. A decade ago, pioneering studies made use of new analytical methods and demonstrated that the hydrogen-isotopic composition of individual lipids from aquatic and terrestrial organisms can be related to the composition of their growth (i.e., environmental) water. Subsequently, compound-specific deuterium/hydrogen (D/H) ratios of sedimentary biomarkers have been increasingly used as paleohydrological proxies over a range of geological timescales. Isotopic fractionation observed between hydrogen in environmental water and hydrogen in lipids, however, is sensitive to biochemical, physiological, and environmental influences on the composition of hydrogen available for biosynthesis in cells. Here we review the factors and processes that are known to influence the hydrogen-isotopic compositions of lipids-especially n-alkanes-from photosynthesizing organisms, and we provide a framework for interpreting theirHydrogen-isotopic abundances of lipid biomarkers are emerging as important proxies in the study of ancient environments and ecosystems. A decade ago, pioneering studies made use of new analytical methods and demonstrated that the hydrogen-isotopic composition of individual lipids from aquatic and terrestrial organisms can be related to the composition of their growth (i.e., environmental) water. Subsequently, compound-specific deuterium/hydrogen (D/H) ratios of sedimentary biomarkers have been increasingly used as paleohydrological proxies over a range of geological timescales. Isotopic fractionation observed between hydrogen in environmental water and hydrogen in lipids, however, is sensitive to biochemical, physiological, and environmental influences on the composition of hydrogen available for biosynthesis in cells. Here we review the factors and processes that are known to influence the hydrogen-isotopic compositions of lipids-especially n-alkanes-from photosynthesizing organisms, and we provide a framework for interpreting their D/H ratios from ancient sediments and identify future research opportunities.show moreshow less

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Metadaten
Author:Dirk Sachse, Isabelle Billault, Gabriel J. Bowen, Yoshito Chikaraishi, Todd E. Dawson, Sarah J. Feakins, Katherine H. Freeman, Clayton R. Magill, Francesca A. McInerney, Marcel T. J. van der Meer, Pratigya Polissar, Richard J. Robins, Julian P. Sachs, Hanns-Ludwig Schmidt, Alex L. Sessions, James W. C. White, Jason B. West, Ansgar Kahmen
DOI:https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-earth-042711-105535
ISBN:978-0-8243-2040-9
ISSN:0084-6597 (print)
Parent Title (English):Annual review of earth and planetary sciences
Parent Title (English):Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences
Publisher:Annual Reviews
Place of publication:Palo Alto
Editor:R Jeanloz
Document Type:Review
Language:English
Year of first Publication:2012
Year of Completion:2012
Release Date:2017/03/26
Tag:deuterium; organic geochemistry; paleoclimate; paleoclimate proxy
Volume:40
Issue:1
Pagenumber:29
First Page:221
Last Page:249
Organizational units:Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Institut für Erd- und Umweltwissenschaften
Peer Review:Referiert