Picture of two heads

Open Access research that challenges the mind...

The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde research outputs. Strathprints provides access to thousands of Open Access research papers by University of Strathclyde researchers, including those from the School of Psychological Sciences & Health - but also papers by researchers based within the Faculties of Science, Engineering, Humanities & Social Sciences, and from the Strathclyde Business School.

Discover more...

Carbon isotope anomaly in the major plant C-1 pool and its global biogeochemical implications

Keppler, F. and Kalin, R. and Harper, DB and McRoberts, WC and Hamilton, JTG (2004) Carbon isotope anomaly in the major plant C-1 pool and its global biogeochemical implications. Biogeosciences, 1 (2). pp. 123-131.

[img]
Preview
PDF
carbon_isotope.pdf - Accepted Author Manuscript

Download (574kB) | Preview

Abstract

We report that the most abundant C-1 units of terrestrial plants, the methoxyl groups of pectin and lignin, have a unique carbon isotope signature exceptionally depleted in C-13. Plant-derived C-1 volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are also anomalously depleted in C-13 compared with Cn+1 VOCs. The results confirm that the plant methoxyl pool is the predominant source of biospheric C-1 compounds of plant origin such as methanol, chloromethane and bromomethane. Furthermore this pool, comprising ca 2.5% of carbon in plant biomass, could be an important substrate for methanogenesis and thus be envisaged as a possible source of isotopically light methane entering the atmosphere. Our findings have significant implications for the use of carbon isotope ratios in elucidation of global carbon cycling. Moreover methoxyl groups could act as markers for biological activity in organic matter of terrestrial and extraterrestrial origin.