Ronkainen, T., McClymont E.L., Tuittila, E-S. & Väliranta, M.
Proceedings of the 14th International Peat Congress
biomarker, fen, peat, sedge, sphagnum
Ronkainen et al 2012: Sterol and N-Alkane Biomarker Composition of Modern Fen Plants – Potential Application for Palaeoecol
Theme I. Inventory, stratigraphy and conservation of mires and peatlands
In this study we apply selected organic geochemistry methods to fen plant species to investigate the potential for biomarkers to characterise different fen plants. Samples were treated with solvent extraction with repeated ultrasonication and analysed by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The preliminary results are promising, confirming some previously established relationships in peat-forming plants e.g. n-alkane chain length differs between the main plant types (e.g. Sphagnum versus non-Sphagnum). However, we also found that biomarker composition, and thus interpretation of the chemical fingerprints of fen plants, is not as straightforward as in bog plants.