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Life form-specific gradients in compound-specific hydrogen isotope ratios of modern leaf waxes along a North American Monsoonal transect

Life form-specific gradients in compound-specific hydrogen isotope ratios of modern leaf waxes along a North American Monsoonal transect
Life form-specific gradients in compound-specific hydrogen isotope ratios of modern leaf waxes along a North American Monsoonal transect
The use of hydrogen isotope ratios (?2H) of sedimentary n-alkanes from leaf waxes has become an important tool for reconstructing paleoenvironmental and ancient hydrologic conditions. Studies of modern plant waxes can elucidate driving ecological mechanisms behind geologic deposits. Here, we used a transect across the North American Monsoon region of the western USA from Tucson, Arizona to Salt Lake City, Utah to study variations in leaf wax ?2H among co-occurring plants. Three co-occurring life forms were selected: perennial shrub (rabbit brush, Chrysothamnus nauseosus; sagebrush, Artemisia tridentata); tree (Gambel’s oak tree, Quercus gambelii); and annual (sunflower, Helianthus annuus). Our results showed that the distributions and abundances of n-alkanes in perennial plants were similar across all sites and generally did not vary with environmental conditions (e.g., precipitation and temperature). In contrast, variations in n-alkane ?2H were significantly correlated with the fraction of the annual precipitation coming during the summer monsoon period. We use a modified Craig–Gordon model to speculate on the possible drivers of the ?2H values of leaf wax n-alkanes of plants across the region. The model results suggest that the most likely explanation for variation in wax ?2H values was a combination of seasonal source water usage and subsequent environmental conditions.
n-Alkanes, Craig–Gordon model, Paleoenvironment, Source water, Fractionation
0029-8549
981-997
Berke, Melissa A.
c7b3130d-6e7a-4f94-ba6e-b58f5d45c956
Tipple, Brett J.
04f91c16-e530-4cf9-9515-a66b1113a610
Hambach, Bastian
d144b919-bc71-4793-89ee-7fdfdb7762bb
Ehleringer, James R.
17f1234e-0510-4a58-b4a6-b496e0cd917d
Berke, Melissa A.
c7b3130d-6e7a-4f94-ba6e-b58f5d45c956
Tipple, Brett J.
04f91c16-e530-4cf9-9515-a66b1113a610
Hambach, Bastian
d144b919-bc71-4793-89ee-7fdfdb7762bb
Ehleringer, James R.
17f1234e-0510-4a58-b4a6-b496e0cd917d

Berke, Melissa A., Tipple, Brett J., Hambach, Bastian and Ehleringer, James R. (2015) Life form-specific gradients in compound-specific hydrogen isotope ratios of modern leaf waxes along a North American Monsoonal transect. Oecologia, 179 (4), 981-997. (doi:10.1007/s00442-015-3432-1).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The use of hydrogen isotope ratios (?2H) of sedimentary n-alkanes from leaf waxes has become an important tool for reconstructing paleoenvironmental and ancient hydrologic conditions. Studies of modern plant waxes can elucidate driving ecological mechanisms behind geologic deposits. Here, we used a transect across the North American Monsoon region of the western USA from Tucson, Arizona to Salt Lake City, Utah to study variations in leaf wax ?2H among co-occurring plants. Three co-occurring life forms were selected: perennial shrub (rabbit brush, Chrysothamnus nauseosus; sagebrush, Artemisia tridentata); tree (Gambel’s oak tree, Quercus gambelii); and annual (sunflower, Helianthus annuus). Our results showed that the distributions and abundances of n-alkanes in perennial plants were similar across all sites and generally did not vary with environmental conditions (e.g., precipitation and temperature). In contrast, variations in n-alkane ?2H were significantly correlated with the fraction of the annual precipitation coming during the summer monsoon period. We use a modified Craig–Gordon model to speculate on the possible drivers of the ?2H values of leaf wax n-alkanes of plants across the region. The model results suggest that the most likely explanation for variation in wax ?2H values was a combination of seasonal source water usage and subsequent environmental conditions.

Full text not available from this repository.

More information

e-pub ahead of print date: 27 August 2015
Published date: December 2015
Keywords: n-Alkanes, Craig–Gordon model, Paleoenvironment, Source water, Fractionation
Organisations: Paleooceanography & Palaeoclimate

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 381449
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/381449
ISSN: 0029-8549
PURE UUID: 337fb777-8799-419e-a702-5662507737ba
ORCID for Bastian Hambach: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-4546-5672

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 15 Sep 2015 08:37
Last modified: 06 May 2020 00:35

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