Articles | Volume 15, issue 3
Clim. Past, 15, 1025–1037, 2019
Clim. Past, 15, 1025–1037, 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.

Related authors

Lignin oxidation products in soil, dripwater and speleothems from four different sites in New Zealand
Inken Heidke, Adam Hartland, Denis Scholz, Andrew Pearson, John Hellstrom, Sebastian F. M. Breitenbach, and Thorsten Hoffmann
Biogeosciences, 18, 2289–2300,,, 2021
Short summary
Quantification of lignin oxidation products as vegetation biomarkers in speleothems and cave drip water
Inken Heidke, Denis Scholz, and Thorsten Hoffmann
Biogeosciences, 15, 5831–5845,,, 2018
Short summary

Related subject area

Subject: Proxy Use-Development-Validation | Archive: Terrestrial Archives | Timescale: Holocene
Long-term trends in diatom diversity and palaeoproductivity: a 16 000-year multidecadal record from Lake Baikal, southern Siberia
Anson W. Mackay, Vivian A. Felde, David W. Morley, Natalia Piotrowska, Patrick Rioual, Alistair W. R. Seddon, and George E. A. Swann
Clim. Past, 18, 363–380,,, 2022
Short summary
A 406-year non-growing-season precipitation reconstruction in the southeastern Tibetan Plateau
Maierdang Keyimu, Zongshan Li, Bojie Fu, Guohua Liu, Fanjiang Zeng, Weiliang Chen, Zexin Fan, Keyan Fang, Xiuchen Wu, and Xiaochun Wang
Clim. Past, 17, 2381–2392,,, 2021
Short summary
Climatic variations during the Holocene inferred from radiocarbon and stable carbon isotopes in speleothems from a high-alpine cave
Caroline Welte, Jens Fohlmeister, Melina Wertnik, Lukas Wacker, Bodo Hattendorf, Timothy I. Eglinton, and Christoph Spötl
Clim. Past, 17, 2165–2177,,, 2021
Short summary
Winter–spring warming in the North Atlantic during the last 2000 years: evidence from southwest Iceland
Nora Richter, James M. Russell, Johanna Garfinkel, and Yongsong Huang
Clim. Past, 17, 1363–1383,,, 2021
Short summary
Climate reconstructions based on GDGT and pollen surface datasets from Mongolia and Baikal area: calibrations and applicability to extremely cold–dry environments over the Late Holocene
Lucas Dugerdil, Sébastien Joannin, Odile Peyron, Isabelle Jouffroy-Bapicot, Boris Vannière, Bazartseren Boldgiv, Julia Unkelbach, Hermann Behling, and Guillemette Ménot
Clim. Past, 17, 1199–1226,,, 2021
Short summary

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,, 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,, 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,, 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,, 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,, 2011. a
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.