Lancaster EPrints

Developing a methodology for carbon isotope analysis of lacustrine diatoms

Hurrell, Elizabeth R. and Barker, Philip A. and Leng, Melanie J. and Vane, Christopher H. and Wynn, Peter and Kendrick, Chris P. and Verschuren, Dirk and Street-Perrott, F. Alayne (2011) Developing a methodology for carbon isotope analysis of lacustrine diatoms. Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry, 25 (11). pp. 1567-1574. ISSN 0951-4198

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Abstract

Stable isotope analysis of sedimentary carbon in lakes can help reveal changes in terrestrial and aquatic carbon cycles. A method based on a single, photosynthetic organism, where host effects are minimised, should offer more precision than carbon isotope studies of bulk lake sediments. Here we report the development of a systematic method for use on fossil lacustrine diatom frustules, adapted from previous studies in marine environments. A step-wise cleaning experiment on diatomaceous lake sediments from Lake Challa, near Mount Kilimanjaro, was made to demonstrate the necessary treatment stages to remove external sedimentary carbon. Changes in soluble carbon compounds during these cleaning experiments were measured using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS). The mass spectrometry methods were refined to measure the small percentage of carbon in these samples and details of these methods are presented. Samples of cleaned diatoms containing <1% carbon yielded robust results. Carbon isotope analyses of diatom samples containing different species mixtures were performed and suggested that differences existed, although the effects lay within current experimental error and require further work. Unlike what was found in work on oxygen and silicon isotopes from diatom frustules, mineral contamination had no discernible impact on the diatom carbon isotope ratios from these sediments. The range of values found in the lakes investigated thus far can be interpreted with reference to the supply and nature of carbon from the catchment as well as to the demand generated from lake primary productivity. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry
Additional Information: Jun 15 Developing a methodology for carbon isotope analysis of lacustrine diatoms Times Cited: 0
Subjects: UNSPECIFIED
Departments: Faculty of Science and Technology > Lancaster Environment Centre
ID Code: 50424
Deposited By: ep_importer_pure
Deposited On: 18 Oct 2011 11:14
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 09 Apr 2014 22:46
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/50424

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