Articles | Volume 12, issue 16
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-12-4979-2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-12-4979-2015
Research article
 | 
21 Aug 2015
Research article |  | 21 Aug 2015

Assessing the potential of amino acid 13C patterns as a carbon source tracer in marine sediments: effects of algal growth conditions and sedimentary diagenesis

T. Larsen, L. T. Bach, R. Salvatteci, Y. V. Wang, N. Andersen, M. Ventura, and M. D. McCarthy

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Short summary
A tiny fraction of marine algae escapes decomposition and is buried in sediments. Since tools are needed to track the fate of algal organic carbon, we tested whether naturally occurring isotope variability among amino acids from algae and bacteria can be used as source diagnostic fingerprints. We found that isotope fingerprints track algal amino acid sources with high fidelity across different growth conditions, and that the fingerprints can be used to quantify bacterial amino acids in sediment.
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