Volume 41 Issue 8
Aug.  2022
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Shengyi Mao, Guodong Jia, Xiaowei Zhu, Nengyou Wu, Daidai Wu, Hongxiang Guan, Lihua Liu. Last glacial terrestrial vegetation record of leaf wax n-alkanols in the northern South China Sea: Contrast to scenarios from long-chain n-alkanes[J]. Acta Oceanologica Sinica, 2022, 41(8): 22-30. doi: 10.1007/s13131-021-1917-9
Citation: Shengyi Mao, Guodong Jia, Xiaowei Zhu, Nengyou Wu, Daidai Wu, Hongxiang Guan, Lihua Liu. Last glacial terrestrial vegetation record of leaf wax n-alkanols in the northern South China Sea: Contrast to scenarios from long-chain n-alkanes[J]. Acta Oceanologica Sinica, 2022, 41(8): 22-30. doi: 10.1007/s13131-021-1917-9

Last glacial terrestrial vegetation record of leaf wax n-alkanols in the northern South China Sea: Contrast to scenarios from long-chain n-alkanes

doi: 10.1007/s13131-021-1917-9
Funds:  The Key Special Project for Introduced Talents Team of Southern Marine Science and Engineering Guangdong Laboratory (Guangzhou) under contract No. GML2019ZD0104; the Science and Technology Program of Guangzhou, China under contract No. 201804010264; the Guangdong MEPP Fund under contract No. GDOE[2019]A41; the National Natural Science Foundation of China under contract No. 41706059; the Fund of Institution of South China Sea Ecology and Environmental Engineering, Chinese Academy of Sciences under contract No. ISEE2020YB05; the State Key R&D Project under contract No. 2016YFA0601104.
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  • Corresponding author: liulh@ms.giec.ac.cn
  • Received Date: 2021-01-14
  • Accepted Date: 2021-07-03
  • Available Online: 2022-07-27
  • Publish Date: 2022-08-15
  • Long-chain n-alkanols and n-alkanes in core sediments from the northern South China Sea (SCS) were measured to make a comparison during terrestrial vegetation reconstruction from ~42 ka to ~7 ka. The results showed that terrestrial vegetation record from long-chain n-alkanes matched well with previous studies in nearby cores, showing that more C4 plants developed during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) and C3 plants dominated in the interglacial period. However, these scenarios were not revealed by terrestrial vegetation reconstruction using long-chain n-alkanols, which showed C3 plant expansion during the LGM. The discrepancy during the interglacial period could be attributed to the aerobic degradation of functionalized long-chain n-alkanols in the oxygen-rich bottom water, resulting in poor preservation of terrestrial vegetation signals. On the other hand, the different advantages of functionalized n-alkanols and non-functional n-alkanes to record local and distal vegetation signals, respectively, may offer a potential explanation for the contradiction during the LGM when the SCS was characterized by low-oxygen deep water. Nevertheless, large variations on n-alkyl lipid compositions in C3/C4 plants could play a part in modulating sedimentary long-chain n-alkanols and n-alkanes toward different vegetation signals, thereby suggesting that caution must be taken in respect to the terrestrial vegetation reconstruction using long-chain n-alkanes and long-chain n-alkanols.
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