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Utility of amino acids as biomarkers in polar marine sediments: a study on the continental shelf of Larsen region, Eastern Antarctic Peninsula

AuthorsSañé, Elisabet ; Isla, Enrique ; Grémare, Antoine; Escoubeyrou, K.
KeywordsMarine sediments
Amino acids
Issue DateNov-2013
CitationPolar Biology 36(11): 1671-1680 (2013)
AbstractOngoing global warming is affecting the polar regions at a faster pace than in many other lower latitude environments. Based on the idea that the changes at the sea surface leave a signal in the sedimentary record, we analysed the total hydrolysable amino acid (THAA) and enzymatically hydrolysable amino acid (EHAA) contents in sediments off the coast of the eastern Antarctic Peninsula during the decade following the collapse of sections A and B of the Larsen ice shelf to check their utility as biomarkers of this event. Two organic matter lability indexes (the EHAA-to-THAA ratio and the Dauwe degradation index) were also calculated to assess the quality of the organic matter in the sediment column. The THAA and EHAA concentrations in the upper 5 mm varied between ~1 and ~10 nmol mg-1 DW-1, corresponding to an oligotrophic environment, whereas the quality of the organic matter as indicated by the lability indexes was relatively high in the upper sediment column (<2 cm deep). The amino acid profiles and indexes in the sediment column were compared to the pigment profiles and indexes published in previous studies for the same stations. The results suggest that in the sediment column, pigments track more accurately than amino acids the pelagic organic matter supply to the seabed after the collapse of the Larsen ice shelf. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg
Description10 pages, 5 figures, 5 tables
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00300-013-1386-5
Identifiersdoi: 10.1007/s00300-013-1386-5
issn: 0722-4060
e-issn: 1432-2056
Appears in Collections:(ICM) Artículos
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