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Investigating molecular changes in organic matter composition in two Holocene lake-sediment records from central Sweden using pyrolysis-GC/MS
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
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2017 (English)In: Journal of Geophysical Research - Biogeosciences, ISSN 2169-8953, E-ISSN 2169-8961, Vol. 122, no 6, p. 1423-1438Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Organic matter (OM) is a key component of lake sediments, affecting carbon, nutrient, and trace metal cycling at local and global scales. Yet little is known about long-term (millennial) changes in OM composition due to the inherent chemical complexity arising from multiple OM sources and from secondary transformations. In this study we explore how the molecular composition of OM changes throughout the Holocene in two adjacent boreal lakes in central Sweden and compare molecular-level information with conventional OM variables, including total carbon, total nitrogen, C:N ratios, delta C-13, and delta N-15. To characterize the molecular OM composition, we employed a new method based on pyrolysis-gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (Py-GC/MS), which yields semiquantitative data on > 100 organic compounds of different origin and degradation status. We identify large changes in OM composition after deglaciation (circa 8500 +/- 500 B.C.), associated with early landscape development, and during the most recent 4050 years, driven by degradation processes. With molecular(-)level information we can also distinguish between natural landscape development and human catchment disturbance during the last 1700 years. Our study demonstrates that characterization of the molecular OM composition by the high-throughput PyGC/MS method is an efficient complement to conventional OM variables for identification and understanding of past OM dynamics in lake-sediment records. Holocene changes observed for pyrolytic compounds and compound classes known for having different reactivity indicate the need for further paleo-reconstruction of the molecular OM composition to better understand both past and future OM dynamics and associated environmental changes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
American Geophysical Union (AGU), 2017. Vol. 122, no 6, p. 1423-1438
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Geosciences, Multidisciplinary
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URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-138425DOI: 10.1002/2016JG003715ISI: 000406520900008OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-138425DiVA, id: diva2:1135334
Available from: 2017-08-23 Created: 2017-08-23 Last updated: 2018-06-09Bibliographically approved

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Ninnes, SofiaTolu, JulieMeyer-Jacob, Carsten

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