FCE LTER Journal Articles


Occurrence and Distribution of Monomethylalkanes in the Freshwater Wetland Ecosystem of the Florida Everglades


A series of mono-methylalkanes (MMAs) with carbon numbers from C10 to C23 and C29were detected in freshwater wetlands of the Everglades. A decrease in concentration and molecular complexity was observed in the order from periphyton and floc, to surface soil and deeper soil horizons. These compounds were present in varying amounts up to 27 μg gdw−1 in periphyton, 74 μg gdw−1 in floc, 1.8 μg gdw−1 in surface soil, <0.03 μg gdw−1 in deeper soils (12–15 cm). A total of 46 MMAs, including three iso and three anteiso-alkanes, were identified. Compound specific carbon isotopes values were determined for some dominant MMAs, and suggest that they originate from microbial sources, including cyanobacteria. Potential decarboxylation from fatty acids could also potentially contribute to the MMAs detected. Early diagenetic degradation was suggested to affect the accumulation of MMAs in soils and further studies are needed to address their applications as biomarkers.


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 #DEB-1237517, #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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