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. Wang1,2, W. Zhang1, and J. Hou1,3 M. Wang et al.
  • 1Key Laboratory of Tibetan Environment Changes and Land Surface Processes, Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
  • 2University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • 3Faculty of Earth Sciences, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan 430074, China

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.

M. Wang et al.

 
Status: closed
Status: closed
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
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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 et al.

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