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Des-A-lupane in an East African lake sedimentary record as a new proxy for the stable carbon isotopic composition of C3 plants
van Bree, L.G.J.; Rijpstra, W.I.C.; Al-Dhabi, N.A.; Verschuren, D.; Sinninghe Damsté, J.S.; de Leeuw, J.W. (2016). Des-A-lupane in an East African lake sedimentary record as a new proxy for the stable carbon isotopic composition of C3 plants. Org. Geochem. 101: 132–139. dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.orggeochem.2016.09.003
In: Organic Geochemistry. Elsevier: Oxford; New York. ISSN 0146-6380; e-ISSN 1873-5290, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Author keywords
    Des-A-triterpenoids; Des-A-lupane; d13C of des-A-lupane; Lacustrine sediments; East Africa; C3/C4 plant ratio; Vegetation reconstruction

Authors  Top 
  • van Bree, L.G.J., more
  • Rijpstra, W.I.C., more
  • Al-Dhabi, N.A.
  • Verschuren, D.
  • Sinninghe Damsté, J.S., more
  • de Leeuw, J.W., more

Abstract
    We studied the high-resolution and well-dated 25,000 year sedimentary record of Lake Challa, a deeptropical crater lake in equatorial East Africa, to explore new proxies for paleoenvironmental and paleohydrologicalchange. Sedimentary biomarker analysis revealed the presence of des-A-triterpenoids witholeanane, ursane and lupane carbon skeletons, microbial degradation products of angiosperm planttriterpenoids. Their increased influx from 16,000 years ago corresponds with previously documentedchanges in the terrestrial vegetation of the Lake Challa basin during postglacial warming, in particularthe relative increase in C3/C4 plant ratio inferred from the stable carbon isotopic signature (d13C) of sedimentaryn-alkanes derived from plant leaf waxes. In contrast to this n-alkane d13C signature, the d13C ofdes-A-lupane maintains a constant value of ?27.4 ± 1.1‰ across the glacial–interglacial transition. Sincedes-A-lupane is derived from C3 plants, its d13C signature is here proposed to represent a novel and independentproxy for the time-variable carbon isotopic composition of local terrestrial C3 plants, which canimprove estimates of the C3/C4 plant ratio based on two-end member mixing models of n-alkane d13Cvalues.?

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