Pedosphere 32(3): 369--380, 2022
ISSN 1002-0160/CN 32-1315/P
©2022 Soil Science Society of China
Published by Elsevier B.V. and Science Press
Variability in pattern and hydrogen isotope composition (δ2H) of long-chain n-alkanes of surface soils and its relations to climate and vegetation characteristics: A meta-analysis
Guo CHEN1,2, Xiaozhen LI2, Xiaolu TANG1,2, Wenyi QIN2, Haitao LIU3
1College of Ecology and Environment, Chengdu University of Technology, Chengdu 610059(China)
2College of Earth Science, Chengdu University of Technology, Chengdu 610059(China)
3Resources and Environment College, Henan Agricultural University, Zhengzhou 450002(China)
Corresponding Author:Guo CHEN
ABSTRACT
      The average chain length (ACL), carbon preference index (CPI), and hydrogen isotope composition (δ2H) of long-chain n-alkanes in sediments have been used to retrieve information about the paleoclimate. Despite their importance as in-between media from leaves to sediments, n-alkanes of surface soils have not been systematically analyzed at large scale. Such an investigation of the spatial variation of n-alkane properties in soil and their dependence on climatic and botanic (e.g., vegetation type) factors could provide a rationale for a better estimation of the past environment. We synthesized the patterns and δ2H of long-chain n-alkanes in soil (δ2Hn-alkanes) with regard to vegetation types (cropland, grassland, shrubland, and woodland) and environmental factors using data from peer-reviewed papers. Our results showed that the ACL and CPI of soil C27–C33 n-alkanes were not suitable indicators for differentiating vegetation types at large scale; instead, ACL significantly correlated with water conditions such as mean annual precipitation (MAP) and Palmer drought severity index (PDSI), and CPI significantly correlated with temperature without significant influence of vegetation type. The variation (i.e., standard deviation) of fractionation between the δ2H values in annual precipitation and in soil n-alkanes (εrain-soil) was smaller than that reported in leaves; therefore, soils were better suited to quantifying the general growing conditions of plants at a certain site. The fractionation εrain-soil correlated with climatic conditions as described by the PDSI and relative humidity (RH). This correlation agreed with the change in leaf water enrichment with changing RH taken from the literature and was independent of the vegetation type at large scale. This meta-analysis may provide useful information for the variations of the patterns and δ2Hn-alkanes values in surface soils.
Key Words:  average chain length (ACL),altitude,carbon preference index (CPI),leaf water,moisture,precipitation,topsoil,vegetation type
Citation: Chen G, Li X Z, Tang X L, Qin W Y, Liu H T. 2022. Variability in pattern and hydrogen isotope composition (δ2H) of long-chain n-alkanes of surface soils and its relations to climate and vegetation characteristics: A meta-analysis. Pedosphere. 32(3): 369–380.
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