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Climate of the Past An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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This is the first quantitative study of lignin biomarkers in stalagmites and cave drip water. Lignin is only produced by higher plants; therefore, its analysis can be used to reconstruct the vegetation of the past. We compared our lignin results with stable isotope and trace element records from the same samples and found correlations or similarities with P, Ba, U and Mg concentrations as well as δ13C values. These results can help to better interpret other vegetation proxies.
CP | Articles | Volume 15, issue 3
Clim. Past, 15, 1025–1037, 2019
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-15-1025-2019
Clim. Past, 15, 1025–1037, 2019
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-15-1025-2019

Research article 14 Jun 2019

Research article | 14 Jun 2019

Lignin oxidation products as a potential proxy for vegetation and environmental changes in speleothems and cave drip water – a first record from the Herbstlabyrinth, central Germany

Inken Heidke et al.

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Revised manuscript under review for BG
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Cited articles

Bahri, H., Dignac, M.-F., Rumpel, C., Rasse, D. P., Chenu, C., and Mariotti, A.: Lignin turnover kinetics in an agricultural soil is monomer specific, Soil Biol. Biochem., 38, 1977–1988, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.soilbio.2006.01.003, 2006. a, b
Blyth, A. J. and Watson, J. S.: Thermochemolysis of organic matter preserved in stalagmites: A preliminary study, Org. Geochem., 40, 1029–1031, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.orggeochem.2009.06.007, 2009. a
Blyth, A. J., Asrat, A., Baker, A., Gulliver, P., Leng, M. J., and Genty, D.: A new approach to detecting vegetation and land-use Change using high-resolution lipid biomarker records in stalagmites, Quaternary Res., 68, 314–324, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.yqres.2007.08.002, 2007. a
Blyth, A. J., Baker, A., Collins, M. J., Penkman, K. E., Gilmour, M. A., Moss, J. S., Genty, D., and Drysdale, R. N.: Molecular organic matter in speleothems and its potential as an environmental proxy, Quaternary Sci. Rev., 27, 905–921, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quascirev.2008.02.002, 2008. a
Blyth, A. J., Baker, A., Thomas, L. E., and van Calsteren, P.: A 2000-year lipid biomarker record preserved in a stalagmite from north-west Scotland, J. Quat. Sci., 26, 326–334, https://doi.org/10.1002/jqs.1457, 2011. a
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Short summary
This is the first quantitative study of lignin biomarkers in stalagmites and cave drip water. Lignin is only produced by higher plants; therefore, its analysis can be used to reconstruct the vegetation of the past. We compared our lignin results with stable isotope and trace element records from the same samples and found correlations or similarities with P, Ba, U and Mg concentrations as well as δ13C values. These results can help to better interpret other vegetation proxies.
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