FCE LTER Journal Articles


Occurrence and distribution of novel botryococcene hydrocarbons in freshwater wetlands of the Florida Everglades


A high abundance of isoprenoid hydrocarbons, the botryococcenes, with carbon numbers from 32 to 34 were detected in the Florida Everglades freshwater wetlands. These compounds were present in varying amounts up to 106 μg/gdw in periphyton, 278 μg/gdw in floc, and 46 μg/gdw in soils. Their structures were determined based on comparison to standards, interpretation of their mass spectra and those of their hydrogenation products, and comparison of Kovats indexes to those reported in the literature. A total of 26 cyclic and acyclic botryococcenes with 8 skeletons were identified, including those with fewer degrees of unsaturation, which are proposed as early diagenetic derivatives from the natural products. This is the first report that botryococcenes occur in the Everglades freshwater wetlands. Their potential biogenetic sources from green algae and cyanobacteria were examined, but neither contained botryococcenes. Thus, the source implication of botryococcenes in this ecosystem needs further study.


This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation through the Florida Coastal Everglades Long-Term Ecological Research program under Cooperative Agreements #DBI-0620409 and #DEB-9910514. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

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