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Pedogenic carbonate recrystallization assessed by isotopic labeling: a comparison of 13C and 14C tracers


Gocke, Martina; Pustovoytov, Konstantin; Kuzyakov, Yakov (2011). Pedogenic carbonate recrystallization assessed by isotopic labeling: a comparison of 13C and 14C tracers. Journal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science, 174(5):809-817.

Abstract

The C isotopic composition (δ¹³C) of pedogenic carbonates reflects the photosynthetic pathway of the predominant local vegetation because pedogenic (secondary) CaCO₃ is formed in isotopic equilibrium with soil CO₂ released by root and rhizomicrobial respiration. Numerous studies show the importance of pedogenic carbonates as a tool for reconstructing paleoecological conditions in arid and semiarid regions. The methodological resolution of these studies strongly depends on the time scale of pedogenic carbonate formation, which remains unknown. The initial formation rate can be assessed by ¹⁴C labeling of plants grown on loess and subsequent incorporation of ¹⁴C from rhizosphere CO₂ into newly formed carbonate by recrystallization of loess CaCO₃. We tested the feasibility of ¹⁴C and ¹³C tracers for estimating CaCO₃ recrystallization rates by simultaneous ¹⁴C and ¹³C labeling and comparison with literature data. ¹⁴C labeling was more efficient and precise in assessing recrystallization rates than ¹³C labeling. This is connected with higher sensitivity of ¹⁴C liquid scintillation counting when compared with δ¹³C measurement by IRMS. Further, assessment of very low amounts of incorporated tracer is more precise with low background signal (natural abundance), which is true for ¹⁴C, but is rather high for ¹³C. Together, we obtained better reproducibility, higher methodological precision, and better plausibility of recrystallization rates calculated based on ¹⁴C labeling. Periods for complete CaCO₃ recrystallization, extrapolated from rates based on ¹⁴C labeling, ranged from 130 (125–140) to 240 (225–255) y, while it was ≈ 600 (365–1600) y based on the ¹³C approach. In terms of magnitude, data from late-Holocene soil profiles of known age provide better fit with modeled recrystallization periods based on the ¹⁴C approach.C) of pedogenic carbonates reflects the photosynthetic pathway of the predominant local vegetation because pedogenic (secondary) CaCO₃ is formed in isotopic equilibrium with soil CO₂ released by root and rhizomicrobial respiration. Numerous studies show the importance of pedogenic carbonates as a tool for reconstructing paleoecological conditions in arid and semiarid regions. The methodological resolution of these studies strongly depends on the time scale of pedogenic carbonate formation, which remains unknown. The initial formation rate can be assessed by ¹⁴C labeling of plants grown on loess and subsequent incorporation of ¹⁴C from rhizosphere CO₂ into newly formed carbonate by recrystallization of loess CaCO₃. We tested the feasibility of ¹⁴C and ¹³C tracers for estimating CaCO₃ recrystallization rates by simultaneous ¹⁴C and ¹³C labeling and comparison with literature data. ¹⁴C labeling was more efficient and precise in assessing recrystallization rates than ¹³C labeling. This is connected with higher sensitivity of ¹⁴C liquid scintillation counting when compared with δ¹³C measurement by IRMS. Further, assessment of very low amounts of incorporated tracer is more precise with low background signal (natural abundance), which is true for ¹⁴C, but is rather high for ¹³C. Together, we obtained better reproducibility, higher methodological precision, and better plausibility of recrystallization rates calculated based on ¹⁴C labeling. Periods for complete CaCO₃ recrystallization, extrapolated from rates based on ¹⁴C labeling, ranged from 130 (125–140) to 240 (225–255) y, while it was ≈ 600 (365–1600) y based on the ¹³C approach. In terms of magnitude, data from late-Holocene soil profiles of known age provide better fit with modeled recrystallization periods based on the ¹⁴C approach.

The C isotopic composition (δ¹³C) of pedogenic carbonates reflects the photosynthetic pathway of the predominant local vegetation because pedogenic (secondary) CaCO₃ is formed in isotopic equilibrium with soil CO₂ released by root and rhizomicrobial respiration. Numerous studies show the importance of pedogenic carbonates as a tool for reconstructing paleoecological conditions in arid and semiarid regions. The methodological resolution of these studies strongly depends on the time scale of pedogenic carbonate formation, which remains unknown. The initial formation rate can be assessed by ¹⁴C labeling of plants grown on loess and subsequent incorporation of ¹⁴C from rhizosphere CO₂ into newly formed carbonate by recrystallization of loess CaCO₃. We tested the feasibility of ¹⁴C and ¹³C tracers for estimating CaCO₃ recrystallization rates by simultaneous ¹⁴C and ¹³C labeling and comparison with literature data. ¹⁴C labeling was more efficient and precise in assessing recrystallization rates than ¹³C labeling. This is connected with higher sensitivity of ¹⁴C liquid scintillation counting when compared with δ¹³C measurement by IRMS. Further, assessment of very low amounts of incorporated tracer is more precise with low background signal (natural abundance), which is true for ¹⁴C, but is rather high for ¹³C. Together, we obtained better reproducibility, higher methodological precision, and better plausibility of recrystallization rates calculated based on ¹⁴C labeling. Periods for complete CaCO₃ recrystallization, extrapolated from rates based on ¹⁴C labeling, ranged from 130 (125–140) to 240 (225–255) y, while it was ≈ 600 (365–1600) y based on the ¹³C approach. In terms of magnitude, data from late-Holocene soil profiles of known age provide better fit with modeled recrystallization periods based on the ¹⁴C approach.C) of pedogenic carbonates reflects the photosynthetic pathway of the predominant local vegetation because pedogenic (secondary) CaCO₃ is formed in isotopic equilibrium with soil CO₂ released by root and rhizomicrobial respiration. Numerous studies show the importance of pedogenic carbonates as a tool for reconstructing paleoecological conditions in arid and semiarid regions. The methodological resolution of these studies strongly depends on the time scale of pedogenic carbonate formation, which remains unknown. The initial formation rate can be assessed by ¹⁴C labeling of plants grown on loess and subsequent incorporation of ¹⁴C from rhizosphere CO₂ into newly formed carbonate by recrystallization of loess CaCO₃. We tested the feasibility of ¹⁴C and ¹³C tracers for estimating CaCO₃ recrystallization rates by simultaneous ¹⁴C and ¹³C labeling and comparison with literature data. ¹⁴C labeling was more efficient and precise in assessing recrystallization rates than ¹³C labeling. This is connected with higher sensitivity of ¹⁴C liquid scintillation counting when compared with δ¹³C measurement by IRMS. Further, assessment of very low amounts of incorporated tracer is more precise with low background signal (natural abundance), which is true for ¹⁴C, but is rather high for ¹³C. Together, we obtained better reproducibility, higher methodological precision, and better plausibility of recrystallization rates calculated based on ¹⁴C labeling. Periods for complete CaCO₃ recrystallization, extrapolated from rates based on ¹⁴C labeling, ranged from 130 (125–140) to 240 (225–255) y, while it was ≈ 600 (365–1600) y based on the ¹³C approach. In terms of magnitude, data from late-Holocene soil profiles of known age provide better fit with modeled recrystallization periods based on the ¹⁴C approach.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Language:English
Date:2011
Deposited On:18 Mar 2015 08:50
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 19:09
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
ISSN:1436-8730
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1002/jpln.200900341
Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-109636

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