Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 363584
Title Fingerprinting of soil organic matter as a proxy for assessing climate and vegetation changes in last interglacial paleosols (Veldwezelt, Belgium)
Author(s) Vancampenhout, K.; Wouters, K.; Caus, A.; Buurman, P.; Swennen, R.; Deckers, J.
Source Quaternary Research 69 (2008)1. - ISSN 0033-5894 - p. 145 - 162.
Department(s) Earth System Science
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2008
Keyword(s) solid-state c-13 - analytical pyrolysis - central-asia - humic substances/ - loess belt - record - reconstruction - fractions - history - carbon
Abstract Soil characteristics in palaeosols are an important source of information on past climate and vegetation. Fingerprinting of soil organic matter (SOM) by pyrolysis-GC/MS is assessed as a proxy for palaeo-reconstruction in the complex of humic layers on top of the Rocourt pedosequence in the Veldwezelt-Hezerwater outcrop (Belgian loess belt). The fingerprints of the extractable SOM of different soil units are related to total organic carbon content, ¿13C and grain-size analysis. Combined results indicate that the lower unit of the humic complex reflects a stable soil surface, allowing SOM build-up, intensive microbial activity and high decomposition. Higher in the profile, decomposition and microbial activity decrease. This is supported by a shift in the isotopic signal, an increased U ratio and evidence of wildfires. Although the chemical composition of the extracted SOM differed greatly from recent SOM, fingerprinting yielded detailed new information on SOM degree of decomposition and microbial contribution, allowing the reconstruction of palaeo-environmental conditions during pedogenesis.
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