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Distribution Characteristics and Implication of n-alkanes in Soils and Plants in Alpine Meadow

Duan, Zhong-Hua, Quan, Xiao-Long, Qiao, You-Ming, Li, Xiao-Qing, Pei, Hai-Kun, He, Gui-Fang
Russian journal of ecology 2019 v.50 no.1 pp. 20-26
Aconitum, Elsholtzia, Leontopodium, Ligularia virgaurea, Oxytropis, Pedicularis, Potentilla, alkanes, alpine meadows, anserine, ecological succession, soil depth, soil sampling
The present study was conducted to investigate the n-alkane composition of typical alpine meadows. Plant and soil samples were collected and analyzed to characterize the n-alkane components. The results show that the n-alkane with maximum concentration (Cₘₐₓ) was C₂₂ in Ligularia virgaurea and Aconitum pendulum, C₂₉ in Elsholtzia densa, Pedicularis kansuensis and Oxytropis kansuensis, and C₃₁ in Potentilla anserine and Leontopodium nanum. Furthermore, the C₂₉ and C₃₁ concentrations in the surface soil from typical alpine meadow were higher than that in sub-layer soil; however, the opposite relationship was seen in soil from degraded alpine meadow. In addition, the correlation between the long chain n-alkanes in soils and plants was strongly significant (p < 0.01, r = 0.816). The change of the C₂₉ and C₃₁ concentration with soil depth could be related to the plant succession of the alpine meadow.