Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/bgd-12-5477-2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/bgd-12-5477-2015
13 Apr 2015
 | 13 Apr 2015
Status: this preprint was under review for the journal BG but the revision was not accepted.

Is average chain length of plant lipids a potential proxy for vegetation, environment and climate changes?

M. Wang, W. Zhang, and J. Hou

Abstract. Average chain length (ACL) of leaf wax components preserved in lacustrine sediments and soil profiles has been widely adopted as a proxy indicator for past changes in vegetation, environment and climate during the late Quaternary. The fundamental assumption is that woody plants produce leaf waxes with shorter ACL values than non-woody plants. However, there is a lack of systematic survey of modern plants to justify the assumption. Here, we investigated various types of plants at two lakes, Blood Pond in the northeastern USA and Lake Ranwu on the southeastern Tibetan Plateau, and found that the ACL values were not significantly different between woody and non-woody plants. We also compiled the ACL values of modern plants in the literatures and performed a meta-analysis to determine whether a significant difference exists between woody and non-woody plants at single sites. The results showed that the ACL values of plants at 19 out of 26 sites did not show a significant difference between the two major types of plants. This suggests that extreme caution should be taken in using ACL as proxy for past changes in vegetation, environment and climate.

Publisher's note: Copernicus Publications remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims made in the text, published maps, institutional affiliations, or any other geographical representation in this preprint. The responsibility to include appropriate place names lies with the authors.
M. Wang, W. Zhang, and J. Hou
 
Status: closed
Status: closed
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
Printer-friendly Version - Printer-friendly version Supplement - Supplement
 
Status: closed
Status: closed
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
Printer-friendly Version - Printer-friendly version Supplement - Supplement
M. Wang, W. Zhang, and J. Hou
M. Wang, W. Zhang, and J. Hou

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