Articles | Volume 12, issue 16
Biogeosciences, 12, 4979–4992, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-12-4979-2015

Special issue: Low oxygen environments in marine, fresh and estuarine...

Biogeosciences, 12, 4979–4992, 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 et al.

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Amelung, W. and Zhang, X.: Determination of amino acid enantiomers in soils, Soil Biol. Biochem., 33, 553–562, https://doi.org/10.1016/S0038-0717(00)00195-4, 2001.
Araujo, S. D. and Garcia, V. M. T.: Growth and biochemical composition of the diatom Chaetoceros cf. wighamii brightwell under different temperature, salinity and carbon dioxide levels. I. Protein, carbohydrates and lipids, Aquaculture, 246, 405–412, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aquaculture.2005.02.051, 2005.
Arthur, K. E., Kelez, S., Larsen, T., Choy, C. A., and Popp, B. N.: Tracing the biosynthetic source of essential amino acids in marine turtles using δ13C fingerprints, Ecology, 95, 1285–1293, https://doi.org/10.1890/13-0263.1, 2014.
Bach, L. T., Bauke, C., Meier, K. J. S., Riebesell, U., and Schulz, K. G.: Influence of changing carbonate chemistry on morphology and weight of coccoliths formed by Emiliania huxleyi, Biogeosciences, 9, 3449–3463, https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-9-3449-2012, 2012.
Batista, F. C., Ravelo, A. C., Crusius, J., Casso, M. A., and McCarthy, M. D.: Compound specific amino acid δ15N in marine sediments: A new approach for studies of the marine nitrogen cycle, Geochim. Cosmochim. Ac., 142, 553–569, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gca.2014.08.002, 2014.
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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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