The Complementarity of Extractable and Ester-Bound Lipids in a Soil Profile Under Pine

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Extractable and solvent insoluble, ester-bound lipids were analysed in an acid, sandy soil profile under Corsican pine. The n-alkanes and alkanoic acids from the soil profile showed rather poor correlations with those from the pine needles and roots, while the n-alkanol composition in the mineral horizons strongly indicated the presence of lipids derived from a previous grass vegetation. Although the ester-bound lipids (ω-hydroxyalkanoic acids and αω-alkanedioic acids (>C24)) suggested that plant sources other than pines were present in the mineral soil horizons their composition was less contaminated and a clear distinction between needle and root input could be discerned. The divergent clustering of soil horizons and plant materials by individual and combined compound classes emphasized the usefulness of both extractable lipids and cutin/suberin in unravelling (past) vegetation and tissue history and contributions to soil organic matter.

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