Articles | Volume 12, issue 12
Research article
29 Jun 2015
Research article |  | 29 Jun 2015

Coupling δ2H and δ18O biomarker results yields information on relative humidity and isotopic composition of precipitation – a climate transect validation study

M. Tuthorn, R. Zech, M. Ruppenthal, Y. Oelmann, A. Kahmen, H. F. del Valle, T. Eglinton, K. Rozanski, and M. Zech

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Cited articles

Allison, G. B., Gat, J. R., and Leaney, F. W. J.: The relationship between deuterium and oxygen-18 delta values in leaf water, Chem. Geol., 58, 145–156, 1985.
Altermatt, H. A. and Neish, A. C.: The biosynthesis of cell wall carbohydrates: III. further studies on formation of cellulose and xylan from labeled monosaccharides in wheat plants, Can. J. Biochem. Physiol., 34, 405–413, 1956.
Araguas-Araguas, L., Froehlich, K., and Rozanski, K.: Deuterium and oxygen-18 isotope composition of precipitation and atmospheric moisture, Hydrol. Process., 14, 1341–1355, 2000.
Bariac, T., Gonzales-Dunia, J., Katerji, N., Bethenod, O., Bertolini, J. M., and Mariotti, A.: Spatial variation of the isotopic composition of water (18O, 2H) in the soil-plant-atmosphere system, Chem. Geol., 115, 317–333, 1994.
Bianchi, T. and Canuel, E. A.: Chemical Biomarkers in Aquatic Ecosystems. Princeton University Press, Princeton, 392 pp., 2011.
Short summary
Stable water isotopes (18O/16O and 2H/1H) are invaluable proxies for paleoclimate research. Here we use a coupled 18O/16O and 2H/1H biomarker approach based on plant-derived sugars and n-alkanes. Applying this innovative approach to a topsoil transect allows for (i) calculating the deuterium-excess of leaf water as a proxy for relative humidity and (ii) calculating the plant source water isotopic composition (~precipitation). The approach is validated by the presented climate transect results.
Final-revised paper