Quaternary International, ( ISI ), Volume (429), No (3), Year (2017-1) , Pages (62-73)

Title : ( Biomarkers in modern and buried soils of semi-desert and forest ecosystems of northern Iran )

Authors: A. Shahriari , F. Khormali , M.Bl€ asing , S. Vlaminck , M. Kehl , M. Frechen , Alireza Karimi , E. Lehndorff ,

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In Northern Iran mean annual precipitation and vegetation vary significantly over short distance from a semi-desert to a forest biome. These ecosystems likely responded differently on past climate changes. We here aim at i) testing the applicability of biomarkers (leave-derived n-alkanes, their stable carbon isotope composition, and C and N stable isotopes of soil organic matter) in loess-derived soils to identify and differentiate past ecosystems, and ii) elucidating the variability of these biomarkers in palaeosols. We sampled modern topsoils and palaeosol horizons within an ecological gradient covering a range in mean annual precipitation from 200 to 750 mm from the Kopet Dag semi-desert to the Hyrcanian forest on the footslopes of the Alborz Mountains. Corg,N,d13 Corg, d 15 N, and n-alkanes (and their compound-specific d 13 C) were analyzed to characterize organic matter composition and sources. In modern soils a systematic increase in Corgand N was observed with precipitation. The d15 N decreased from about 6 to 4‰ pointing to systematically more degraded organic matter in semi-desert soils. The leave-wax specific ratio of (nC31þnC33)/(nC27þnC29)-n-alkanes was >1 for semi-desert soils and <1 for the forest ecosystem. The d13 Corg showed no systematic trend in this gradient. In loess and palaeosol profiles, contents of Corg, N and n-alkanes dropped about a factor 10 compared to modern soils. The n-alkane ratio and d15 N ratios remained on comparable levels as did the compound-specificd 13 C in n-alkanes. However, bulk d13 Corgwas altered from about27 in modern soil to23‰in loess-palaeosols. Systematically higher Corgand N values were observed in palaeo-topsoils compared to loess and subsoil. Stable C sotopes varied rather unsystematically within loess-palaeosol sequences, while d 15 N revealed trends within palaeosols, however, in contrasting directions with palaesol depth. The (temporal) average nalkane ratio for all palaeosol horizons of one site systematically followed the modern precipitation gradient indicating that in all periods of soil formation a climatic gradient developed.


, Loess, Palaeosol, Biomarker, n-alkanes, Compound-specific stable isotope, composition, Palaeovegetation
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author = {A. Shahriari and F. Khormali and M.Bl€ Asing and S. Vlaminck and M. Kehl and M. Frechen and Karimi, Alireza and E. Lehndorff},
title = {Biomarkers in modern and buried soils of semi-desert and forest ecosystems of northern Iran},
journal = {Quaternary International},
year = {2017},
volume = {429},
number = {3},
month = {January},
issn = {1040-6182},
pages = {62--73},
numpages = {11},
keywords = {Loess; Palaeosol; Biomarker; n-alkanes; Compound-specific stable isotope; composition; Palaeovegetation},


%0 Journal Article
%T Biomarkers in modern and buried soils of semi-desert and forest ecosystems of northern Iran
%A A. Shahriari
%A F. Khormali
%A M.Bl€ Asing
%A S. Vlaminck
%A M. Kehl
%A M. Frechen
%A Karimi, Alireza
%A E. Lehndorff
%J Quaternary International
%@ 1040-6182
%D 2017