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The potential of biomarker proxies to trace climate, vegetation, and biogeochemical processes in peat: A review

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-79
Number of pages23
JournalGlobal and Planetary Change
Volume179
Early online date13 May 2019
DOIs
DateAccepted/In press - 11 May 2019
DateE-pub ahead of print - 13 May 2019
DatePublished (current) - 1 Aug 2019

Abstract

Molecular fossils (biomarkers) are abundant in organic rich natural archives such as peats and lignites (fossilized peat), where their distribution is governed by their biological source, environmental factors, such as temperature and pH, and
diagenetic reactions. As a result, biomarkers in peat have become an important toolto study past variations in vegetation, environment and climate in terrestrial settings, as well as biogeochemistry on time-scales of hundreds to millions of years ago. In recent years, significant progress has been made in understanding the controls on biomarker distributions, especially those derived from microorganisms and peat- forming plants, allowing for example, the quantification of past temperature and vegetation history during peat formation. Herein, we provide a review of a range of commonly applied biomarker proxies in peats, discuss the latest proxy developments, and explore the potential of using biomarkers in peat and lignite as paleoenvironmental proxies. We provide a framework for biomarker analyses in peat and identify possible future research directions.

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  • Full-text PDF (accepted author manuscript)

    Rights statement: This is the author accepted manuscript (AAM). The final published version (version of record) is available online via Elsevier at https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0921818118305563 . Please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.

    Accepted author manuscript, 7 MB, PDF document

    Embargo ends: 13/05/20

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    Licence: CC BY-NC-ND

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