What is it about?

This paper conducts a systematic review on a variety of lipid biomarkers in aquatic sediments and water column that are used as proxies tracing paleoclimate and paleoenvironment information. The sources of those lipid biomarkers are autochthonous and/or allochthonous. General mechanisms of lipid biomarkers used as paleoclimate and paleoenvironment archives include characteristics of carbon chain distribution, temperature adaptation and combined temperature and humidity adaptation. Different lipid indices underpinned by the mechanisms are surrogates for the past precipitation, temperature and humidity as well as plant succession.We propose that the combined use of lipid indices and other biomarkers can expand the outlook of individual index, and provide a better understanding of paleoclimate and paleoenvironment reconstruction.

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Why is it important?

There is a lack of systematical syntheses with regard to the lipid biomarkers and related indices from aquatic environment indicating paleoclimate and paleoenvironment, although paleo- climate and paleoenvironment studies in terms of organisms in aquatic sediments and water column have been undertaken since last century. This study will fill the knowledge gap.


This study is presented to establish the framework of lipid biomarkers and their penitent indices applied as paleoclimate and paleoenvironment proxies. We suggest the combined use of different indices in order to overcome the limitations of the individual lipid and indices, and improve the overall interpretation.

PhD Xiaoguang Ouyang
Chinese University of Hong Kong

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Lipid biomarkers and pertinent indices from aquatic environment record paleoclimate and paleoenvironment changes, Quaternary Science Reviews, September 2015, Elsevier, DOI: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2015.06.029.
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