The long chain n-alkane composition of plant material can significantly differ between plant groups e.g. trees and grasses. Due to their relative recalcitrance, they have been employed in paleoecological research as molecular proxies for different types of vegetation. Most of those paleoenvironmental studies rely on the assumption that characteristic molecular fingerprints of plant material are preserved in the fossil organic material without significant alteration. However, there exists evidence that n-alkane distributions may change in the course of plant litter degradation. Here, the authors propose and discuss a conceptual approach to the correction of n-alkane patterns in paleosols and terrestrial sediments for postsedimentary alteration effects. This might have potential to improve paleoenvironmental reconstructions derived from these molecular fossils. In soil depth profiles typically a correlation between the OEP (odd over even predominance) and paleoecological valuable long-chain n-alkane ratios (LARs) can be found. Similar relationships have been also obtained from n-alkane records in paleosols. With the OEP serving as a proxy of microbial reworking, the correction procedure applies OEP vs. LAR regression functions to correct fossil LARs for degradation effects. The regression functions have been derived from modern soils. The application of the procedure and its significance for paleoecological interpretations is demonstrated on a case study of a loess-paleosol sequence (∼400–700 ka) in Romania. It is shown that changes in the C27/C31 n-alkane ratio at this site are closely related to degradation effects rather than to changes in the paleovegetation (e.g. tree vs. grass abundance). However, it was found that the C29/ C31 ratio is a more suitable paleoenvironmental proxy at the Mircea Voda site. The results indicate that there is a future potential to correct fossil n-alkane ratios via the OEP/LAR relationship, however at the moment a general straight forward application of this approach might be critical due to lack of extended and diverse n-alkane records from modern soils. The need of more systematic n-alkane studies on soil profiles is highlighted to improve knowledge concerning dynamics and actual mechanisms of postsedimentary LAR and OEP changes.